Five teens arrested after violence and anti-social behaviour in town
Five teenagers have been arrested for offences including shoplifting, assault and criminal damage after a spate of anti-social behaviour in Bognor Regis town centre.
A 15-year-old girl from Worthing and a 14-year- old girl from Bersted have been charged with common assault. They are due to appear at Worthing Youth Court on May 13.
A 15-year-old boy from Bersted, has been charged with criminal damage and is due to appear at Worthing Magistrates Court on April 29.
A 16-year-old from Bognor Regis was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and affray and has since been released under investigation.
Police arrested a fifth child but no further action has been taken against them.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “All of the incidents which have been reported to the police are currently under investigation and lines of inquiry are being progressed.”
The spokesperson continued: “We are committed to tackling youth violence and disorder through engaging with children to deter them from criminal behaviour. We will also take robust enforcement action when offences occur. Violence involving children is a divisional priority and in response to this we have dedicated patrols across West Sussex to target hotspot locations, engage with children and reassure the community.”
The arrests were made after a spate of violence and criminal damage in the town centre earlier this week.
Responding to the violence, a spokesperson for Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The PCC shares the concern of local residents when they suffer outbreaks of anti-social behaviour and this Friday, she will be asking the Chief Constable about the potential increase in public space disorder and violence following the easing of Covid restrictions.”
Heather Allen, co-ordinator of the Business Improvement District (BID) has also reposonded to the issue of anti-social behaviour and the effect it might have on local businesses. She said: “It is completely understandable that businesses and the community want to express their anger at the situation but it is also imperative that incidents are reported to the police through the proper channels.”
Ms Allen referred businesses to existing services provided by the BID to support them through it’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership , including an app which allows them to report and record incidents as and when they happen.
She also praised the work of the BID/ BRTC community warden service, which offers support to businesses in need of a quick and efficient response.
Finally, she pointed out that the BID has recently submitted an application for improved CCTV, which will allow better protection for businesses.