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Crime spree at Folkestone harbour and in the Old High Street

Shocking footage showing a group of teenagers wreaking havoc in a town centre has been released to KentOnline.

The CCTV caught the culprits in the act as they vandalised and littered in Folkestone.

CCTV captures attack on shopfront

The unruly behaviour - which happened the same night a man was beaten up nearby - has sparked calls from shop owners for more to be done to protect their businesses.

Police are now investigating the crime spree, which is alleged to have been carried out by the same group of teenagers.

The first incident occurred at about 11.45pm on Thursday when a man was attacked near the Harbour Arm.

He was pushed to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the head and body by a group of young people.

Colin White outside his shop, The Quarter Masters, which suffered criminal damage last Thursday
Colin White outside his shop, The Quarter Masters, which suffered criminal damage last Thursday

A little later, at around midnight, the shop windows of Bounce Vintage and The Quarter Masters, in the Old High Street, were smashed when bottles of Budweiser beer were thrown at them.

CCTV from The Quarter Masters and neighbour Big Boys Fine Burger Company shows the group as they wander past, throwing the bottles.

In a third incident a group attempted to break into and steal a coach on The Leas at around 1am.

Colin White, owner of clothing store The Quarter Masters, first heard about the spate of anti social behaviour on Friday morning.

He said: "I got a call from the coffee shop near me to say we had a smashed window.

"We have CCTV so I got straight onto the system. It shows a bunch of kids go past and throw what looks like a brick at the window.

CCTV shows the bottle being thrown at the window of The Quarter Masters
CCTV shows the bottle being thrown at the window of The Quarter Masters

"They don't even change pace, just throw it and carry on walking.

"When I got to work I realised it was a bottle of Bud that had been used, not a brick.

"Later that day I heard someone got jumped walking home by kids near the harbour.

"It was completely unprovoked, they dragged him to the floor and kicked him.

"Sounds like the same group, they had a a crate of Budweiser."

Mr White put details about the incident on social media, and was contacted by someone who witnessed a gang trying to break into a coach parked along The Leas.

The broken beer bottle used to smash one of the windows can be seem on the ground
The broken beer bottle used to smash one of the windows can be seem on the ground

He adds: "It is possible on their rampage of jolly destruction they could have caused more damage.

"It would be good to put this out there and any other victims could link up.

"They only look about 16, 17-years-old on the CCTV. "

Bounce Vintage owners Saul and Rachel Kitchen had to erect boarding after their window cracked.

Mr Kitchen said: "A beer bottle was thrown at our window on Thursday night, smashing it.

"The community was kind and supportive including artist Duncan Weston who painted the boarding that covered the window within an hour of being asked.

The owners of Bounce Vintage had their shop window smashed during the spree. They have since put boarding up, painted by artist Duncan Weston. Picture credit: Bounce Vintage
The owners of Bounce Vintage had their shop window smashed during the spree. They have since put boarding up, painted by artist Duncan Weston. Picture credit: Bounce Vintage

"This incident has once again brought out the best in the community of Folkestone."

But the trouble last week is not the first incident in the Old High Street.

Mr White says his shop has been targeted four time this year, including twice in February when someone tried to break in through the front and back doors on two separate occasions.

During one incident, stock was stolen.

Mr White said: "This will be our fourth claim this year. I know other shops have also had their windows damaged.

"It keeps happening. People say we need proper CCTV on the Old High Street, because when you walk there at night it can feel a bit incognito, almost like a back passage.

The assault on the man happened near the Harbour Arm. Picture: Alan Langley
The assault on the man happened near the Harbour Arm. Picture: Alan Langley

"There's always a lot of footfall but never any police.

"It would be good to have a bigger officer presence on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

"We just want to know the shop is safe when we're not here.

"My landlord has spoken about fitting a metal grill over the window, which would be a shame. But I don't know what the answer is.

"It looks so nice down here at the moment in the Old High Street, so it's ironic there is now lots of trouble."

Police say they are investigating a report of criminal damage and of assault.

"It is possible on their rampage of jolly destruction they could have caused more damage" - Colin White

A spokesman said: "Kent Police is investigating a report a man was assaulted in Harbour Arm Approach Road, Folkestone, after being approached by a group of young people between 11.30pm and midnight on Thursday.

"The victim attended a local hospital for treatment to facial injuries and reported the incident the following afternoon.

"Enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing.

"Kent Police has received a report that criminal damage was caused to the window of a premises in the Old High Street, Folkestone, at around 11.55pm on Thursday.

"At present no suspects have been identified."

Anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting 46/219079/19 for the criminal damage, or 46/219766/19 for the assault. They can also use the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline by calling 0800 555111, or completing the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Crime in Folkestone hasn't just isolated to the immediate town centre - on the same night thieves broke into Castle Hill Primary School and stole IT equipment.

Last month the owner of Lacies, in Dover Road, was also threatened by a knife-wielding man attempting to steal from the till.

Police have promised increased patrols after hiring 38 new constables to serve more than 20 towns across the county - four of them have been allocated to watch over Folkestone.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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


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