Spate of attacks by gang of young thugs in Newtown

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

A SPATE OF attacks by young thugs in Newtown has prompted calls for increased police presence and switching the CCTV in the town back on.

Over the last weekend three separate attacks took place.

A group of teenagers, possibly the same ones, were involved in all of them.

Dyfed-Powys Police have arrested five teenagers who have been released pending the investigation.

Friday night should have been a highlight for Danny Foulkes, attending a glitzy gala evening as a Powys Business finalist.

Danny, 19, a trainee project manager with EvaBuild in Newtown, was walking alone from the MacDonald’s restaurant through the Gravel Car Park at about 3.30am on Saturday, when the attack happened.

He was wearing a dinner suit and had been out celebrating with friends and workmates after being shortlisted in the outstanding apprentice category at the awards ceremony held at Hafren, Newtown, a few hours earlier.

He was left unconscious with head and facial injuries and rushed to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital by ambulance.

Thankfully, X-rays and scans revealed no broken bones but severe soft tissue damage to his bruised, swollen and bloodied face and head.

His family members are so concerned about the attack, which was the first of two similar incidents in the same area on consecutive nights, that they are launching a campaign to reinstate the CCTV system on the streets of Newtown.

They are also calling for more resources to be made available to the police in Newtown to tackle violence.

Danny said: “The incident has left me shaken up and wondering what I did to deserve this unprovoked attack.

“I was walking back into town to get a taxi and all I can remember is being battered and waking up on the grass verge.

“What is particularly alarming is that they left me unconscious and I could have died or suffered brain damage because they just targeted my face and head.

“I don’t think I will want to go into town to socialise again at night, as I would be very wary. It should have been a night of celebration, yet I ended up in hospital.”

Danny’s parents, Duncan and Jacci Foulkes, are very angry about the attack.

Their social media appeal for information to identify the attackers attracted nearly 200 messages at the weekend and all relevant leads have been passed to the police.

Their campaign for more police officers in Newtown and the reinstatement of CCTV coverage across the town is being supported by Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies and Assembly Member Russell George, who have also pledged to raise the family’s concern with the Dyfed Powys Police and Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llewelyn.

Duncan Foulkes said: “I must stress that I am not criticising the work of the police, but they are so under resourced and the town needs to wake up to the situation.

“We think an immediate first step would be to turn the CCTV system back on so that there is no hiding place for criminal activity.

“When one of your family members is attacked, you can’t stand back and do nothing.

“I am encouraging the people of Newtown to get behind the campaign by signing the petition.

“We all want our sons and daughters to feel safe in the town when they go out at night.

Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for any witnesses who were in the area of McDonalds on Friday and Saturday night who may have seen the attacks, including the area of the gravel car park.

Between 2am and 4am on Saturday, a serious assault on a male resulted in severe head injuries.

A group of juveniles were involved in this incident, with possibly up to 10 present at the time.

The following day, between 1.30am and 2.30am, a group of juveniles have also attacked two males, resulting in injuries to both.

Witnesses are also sought for an incident on the Dolfor Road near Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd on Saturday between 11pm and 11.30pm.

This incident resulted in a male being assaulted and sustaining a broken leg while helping the taxi driver he was with deal with a group of juveniles throwing objects at the taxi.

Inspector Jonathan Rees-Jones said: “The Newtown neighbourhood policing team have liaised with Newtown High School and are to visit the school to relay the very important message that this behaviour is seriously impacting upon the community and must cease immediately.

“We ask that anyone with any possible information who may have witnessed the incidents or who may have viewed footage after the events to contact Newtown Police Station on 101 or to call into the station at normal day hours.

“All of the incidents above are currently under full investigation.”

n To support the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/ cctv-and-more-police-needed-in- newtown

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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