Monday, June 8, 2009

Police concern about "chav" vs alternative teens violence in Wigan

Once again a park in Lancashire is a scene for more conflict. No solid details but basicaly shows the trend:

Police bid to curb park gang violence
Wigan Today - ‎Jun 3, 2009‎
Source: Wigan Evening Post

Published Date: 03 June 2009 Gang violence has prompted a summer crackdown at a
Wigan park.Police say there has been a worrying increase in assaults at Mesnes
Park since the evenings became warmer and lighter and often involve different

Youths belonging to different social groups such as "chavs," "moshers," and "emos" have been involved in a number of incidents in recent weeks. This has not only caused concern for the individuals caught up in the violence but also the safety of innocent by-standers and the reputation of the park which is about to undergo a major upgrade.

Mounted police have been brought in to patrol the Victorian park as part of what will be a whole raft of high profile measures over the summer months.
One officer, who had been called up from the mounted police centre at Hough End, Manchester, said: "We are here because there have been a lot of assaults in the park just recently involving youths belonging to different groups such as chavs and emos.

"The hot weather, light evenings and alcohol have all contributed to the trouble and
we are here to deter further trouble." A Wigan Police spokesman said: "This is
the start of a summer operation which we will be running in Mesnes Park with our
partners over the summer.
"It is an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour and violent crime that has been committed there in recent weeks. Since the evenings got lighter there have been a number of incidents, mainly assaults.

"Various youth factions seem to be involved and alcohol is undoubtedly a
factor too. We are stepping up patrols both to prevent further crimes."
He said that further measures for the summer campaign would be announced soon.

Thugs who tortured Leeds metalers/goths jailed

The gang that cut off the ear of Paul Gibbs were jailed. Original reports on case here:
The full details make grim reading what makes these crimes even more sickening is the atmosphere of brutal calculation, and the way the criminals lulled their victims into a false sense of security. Paul Gibbs and his friends were sadly too trusting that other people were as friendly as they were. Mere robbery was not enough the thugs had to use brutal violence as well. As this report makes clear it might have ended in murder:

Bully boys terrorised Goths in park
Yorkshire Post - ‎Jun 5, 2009‎

Published Date: 05 June 2009
By Olwen Dudgeon

A MAN was savagely beaten and had his ear cut off while three others were
injured in a horrific night of violence when a gang of "bully boys" decided to
rob Goths camping in a park.

Andrew Hall, Ryan Woodhead and Quinn Colley, who described themselves as "Chavs", hatched a plan to attack a group celebrating a teenager's birthday in Rothwell Country Park, Leeds, with a barbecue last August. Hall, Woodhead and Colley had spent the day drinking and had already demonstrated "vitriolic hostility" to the "Emos" or "Moshers" known for their dark clothing and make-up, Richard Wright, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday. When they first saw the Goths arriving, Hall, with the others as pillion passengers, drove his scooter at them and shouted abuse. They then hatched their plan to assault and rob them.Mr Wright said the three turned up pretending to be peaceful. They drank beer with the group and Hall took people to buy cigarettes and alcohol on his scooter. He even apologised for the earlier incident.

Having gained the trust of their victims, they then offered to take Paul Gibbs, the oldest and notional leader to get more beer.Once away from the others, Hall stopped his scooter and Colley and Woodhead launched a savage attack on Mr Gibbs, who was repeatedly punched and kicked until he lost consciousness and could only remember waking in hospital.He had suffered a severe head injury, and for a time was in a coma, spending weeks in hospital. Before he was found by police that night in "a barbaric twist" he also had his left ear severed with a knife. Both attackers deny responsibility.Doctors hope to re-attach it later this year.

Mr Wright said that some of the other Goths went looking for Mr Gibbs. Hall then offered another one a lift. Once again, Hall attacked him and searched his pockets before leaving the area.Meanwhile, Colley and Woodhead attacked two others. One youth was punched and kicked unconsciousness, waking up only several days later in Leeds General Infirmary, while the second was kicked in the face suffering a bloody nose.They robbed two girls before following them back to the campsite to continue the terror.Colley, already on bail for an attack in the same park when he fractured a youth's jaw, said he had been told by "his boss" to kill them, but let them go. Hall, 22, of Sixth Avenue, Rothwell, Leeds, who admitted conspiracy to rob and grievous
bodily harm to Mr Gibbs, was given an indeterminate prison sentence and must
serve a minimum of four-and-a-half years.

Woodhead, 18, Seventh Avenue, Rothwell, and Colley, 18, of Wordsworth Drive, Oulton, both Leeds, each admitted conspiracy to rob and grievous bodily harm with intent and were given indeterminate sentences to serve a minimum of two years, 210 days.Colley also admitted grievous bodily harm in July. Judge James Spencer QC described them as a "bunch of bully boys" who would only be released when they were considered no longer a danger to the public.

Alicia Thompson who organised the goth march in Sheffield and other places last year was interviewed on the case on BBC Look North and made some good points and adds more details about the aftermath of the robbery and the blood soaked scene.

You can see the video via the facebook page :

Here is the group Eternal Souls of Twilight she organises on facebook:

In theory if those sentencing guidelines that Jack Straw agreed to recently with the SOPHIE group were in place already this group may have had longer sentences. Although that would be more satisfactory for the victims and everyone else it will not solve the problem it is sad to reflect.

Do longer sentences actual deter the people capable of this kind of oportunistic savagery? If you look at the details of the crime the thugs were obviously going to get caught as they had been alongside their victims long enough to provide loads of witnesses and they were well known in the area. We are not exactly talking criminal masterminds it seems their feelings of preudice and hate turned a robbery of a bunch of teenagers for a few bits of cash into acts of sadistic hate-ridden violence which were far more serious and ensured the police put in a big effort to catch them. Yet the amount of effort the scum put into creating the situation where they could isolate and beat their victims shows a kind of brutal cunning which is worrying. It really is like something out of a horror film.