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Second attempted robbery at Faversham Recreation Park


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A second attack by thugs on young people at a park within days has led to a councillor admitting he would not walk through it at night.

The gang threatened a group of friends at Faversham Recreation Ground last Wednesday night and attempted to rob them.

A gang threatened a group of friends at Faversham Recreation Ground last Wednesday night
A gang threatened a group of friends at Faversham Recreation Ground last Wednesday night

It comes after another incident in which a terrified 14-year-old boy fled after he was threatened by hooded youths with a knife.

The frightening episode happened last Sunday evening when Ashton Springett was out on his bike.

Wednesday’s incident was witnessed by Keetah Davis, who heard a lot of noise as she approached the park at about 11.30pm.

The 34-year-old said: “There was a boy over the road - I could hear him on the phone saying ‘Faversham ME13’ so I’m guessing he was calling the police.

“Then as I approached the entrance near the Jubilee Centre, I saw a girl come out on the phone crying and she crossed the road.

Another incident happened last Sunday evening when a 14-year-old was threatened
Another incident happened last Sunday evening when a 14-year-old was threatened

“I went after her and she told me she had been sitting round with a group of friends and this group of boys came over and tried to rob them and started hitting the boys.”

Her friends had all fled in different directions.

But Ms Davis said as she was standing with them, one of the yobs came out of the park, walked halfway across the road and stared at them.

She said: “He was in a hoodie, just looking at us and called back to his friends, ‘where’s the ting?’, and they all just disappeared.

"It’s not a safe area at the moment and I think they need to patrol it more.”

Charmain Springett said the park has become a “lawless area”
Charmain Springett said the park has become a “lawless area”

The mother of Ashton Springett said the park has become a “lawless area”.

“I think there should definitely be more CCTV and maybe even some sort of patrol,” mum Charmain said.

"Or monitoring the station because I think the people involved are coming from there.

“It is scary and nerve-racking that children are going out and are potentially in danger. I don’t think these teenagers really care because they know the police are not going to do anything.”

Faversham county councillor Antony Hook has urged the attackers to come forward.

Antony Hook said the incidents are "deeply concerning"
Antony Hook said the incidents are "deeply concerning"

“It is deeply disturbing and to have two incidents in the space of the three days is very worrying,” he said.

“We don’t tend to get this kind of gang-based attempted robbery. I hope the police take it deeply seriously.”

He is calling for better lighting and more CCTV at the entrances of the site in a bid to prevent further incidents.

“We all need to stay vigilant and I would agree that I wouldn’t walk through the rec at night,” he added.

A Swale council spokesman said existing street lights had been refurbished and five more had been installed as part of the park’s £1.9 million renovation, adding: “We are looking into providing mobile CCTV cameras and are working with police and Kent Highways to find the right solution.”

Police say three teenagers are alleged to have approached a group of five people before attempting to rob them - and three victims were assaulted.

When officers arrived the thugs had escaped.

Insp Joel Mitchell, from the Swale community safety unit, said anti-social behaviour is carried out by a “very small number of people” but does not underestimate the impact it has on the community.

“Our officers are committed to ensuring Faversham remains a town everyone can enjoy and are taking action following reports of anti-social behaviour at the recreation ground,” he said.

“As part of our work, we arrested a man in his 20s in connection to reports of nuisance behaviour and we are continuing to provide a visible presence.”

He said he is working with partners, including the local council, to identify further individuals involved in disruptive behaviour.

“It is really important that the community reports all incidents to us as this allows us to build an accurate picture on the issue and determine the most appropriate course of action,” he added.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Faversham

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