A massive police response was dispatched to deal with a group of 30 to 40 brawling youths who were also abusing staff and wreaking havoc at Walkden Town Shopping Centre in Manchester on Saturday night
A large police presence swarmed a large gang of brawling youths who were abusing staff and wreaking havoc on a town centre shopping mall last night.
On Saturday evening, cops responded to reports of a mass of 30 to 40 anti-social young people at the Walkden Town Shopping Centre in Manchester.
It took cops four hours to deal with the incident which also involved the thugs running between cars – causing drivers to perform emergency stops, Manchester Evening News reports.
Members of the public who were at the shopping centre on the evening of the incident said they could see as many as 30 to 40 high school-aged teenagers in the area.
A local shop owner who saw the large group of young people says it has become a regular occurrence at the mall.
He said: “The kids are out of control, I didn’t see much but I saw loads of police in the evening.
“There were about 40 kids upstairs and it happens all the time. They always come here in the evenings, go upstairs and start throwing things.
“That’s why I wear a hoodie when I’m working.”
Another shop owner whose member of staff was on the clock during the incident said: “My member of staff said there was a fight on the top floor and there were around 30 boys and girls who were running in and out of the shopping centre.
“There were around 10 police officers that came.”
Another member of the public who frequents the shopping centre said while young people are known to cause trouble at the mall, it’s important not to tar them all with the same brush.
Speaking to the MEN they said: “Kids cause a lot of problems here yes,
“You see them running in and out and going to KFC and McDonald’s and they are always calling security.
“I didn’t see the incidents but I saw 30 or 40 kids here yesterday.
“They’re just kids being kids, they don’t know what they’re doing. To them it’s just fun, it’s important not to blame them too much.”
GMP Little Hulton, Walkden Ellenbrook and Worsley division posted a lengthy statement detailing the incident and calling on parents to speak to their children to ensure “they are not involved in criminal activity.”
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The post by GMP Little Hulton, Walkden Ellenbrook and Worsley said: “Tonight, there has been a large incident of anti-social behaviour at Walkden Town Centre Shopping Centre.
“This involved a large group of Young People fighting, abusing staff working at the centre and criminal damage being caused.
“This required a large police response with several patrols being deployed for over 4 hours. This behaviour will not be tolerated, it is intimidating to shoppers and dangerous for the Young People, who were also running between cars causing vehicles to perform emergency stops.
This is a message directly to parents- do you know where your children are? Behaviour like this may seem low-level but has a major impact on businesses and police resources, just as they are most stretched.
“Police have been on scene tonight for over 4 hours where their resources could have been dealing with serious crime.
“In addition, a police vehicle has had a tire punctured, resulting in a police vehicle now needing repair and being off the road. Parents, please speak to your children to ensure they are not involved in criminal activity.
“The full use of police powers including arrest and charging of offenders can and will be used for offenders, we do not want to criminalise Young People but nor can we have this criminality being carried out by Young People.
“Often Young People do not realise how their behaviour is affecting others such as elderly shoppers and other victims of crime or the impact criminal activity can have on their future, so please speak to your children if you suspect their involvement.
“Further patrols will be taking place around Walkden Town Centre over the coming weeks and months. We will be making contact and working with schools to identify the Young People involved.
“Thank you for your ongoing support and please stay safe.