West Sussex Superintendent is committed to taking police action to address groups of young people causing anti-social behaviour and disorder.
It follows the assault on two officers in Shoreham on Saturday evening by a group of young people. Officers were responding to reports of a young man causing criminal damage to vehicles in the area. When they attempted to arrest the suspect, they were pushed to the floor and assaulted by a large group of youths – with one officer punched in the head.
Superintendent Miles Ockwell said: “The behaviour of a minority of young people over the weekend was simply unacceptable. Our officers should be able to carry out their lawful duty without being intimidated or assaulted.
“A total of 16 arrests were made and those who are identified as being involved will have to face the consequences of their actions.
“We appreciate the concern this behaviour from a minority of group of people is causing within the community and additional resources will be deployed to areas where groups are known to gather to deter such behaviour in the future.
“We have a strong working relationship with local authorities and as of a result of this, two boys from the local area have recently been issued a Community Behaviour Order by the courts.
“Together as partner agencies we can, and we will, use a wide variety of powers, including criminalisation whereby other options are inappropriate, to tackle those who persistently cause ant-social behaviour and disorder.
“We want people to go out and enjoy themselves in a way that is safe and doesn’t impact others and I would like to commend the young people who have, and continue to, behave themselves during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Parents and guardians also have the responsibility to ensure their children are not causing disruptive behaviour, which we will take action against.
“My message to those involved is simple. If you behave in an anti-social manner, you will be held to account. Your choice to engage in poor behaviour could have a lasting effect on your future and this is not something we would like to see.”
All 16 young people arrested have been released on police bail with strict conditions.