Portsmouth boy, 17, arrested amid police investigation into underpass attack on teenager in area blighted by criminality

POLICE have made a third arrest after a teenager was ambushed by a gang in an underpass of a besieged neighbourhood that has seen residents living in fear.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:11 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 7:03 pm

Two boys were previously arrested by police following the attack about 8pm on Monday May 10 in the underpass connecting Nessus Street and Grafton Street, Buckland.

The teenage victim was approached before being beaten leaving him with facial injuries.

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Police on patrol in and around Nessus Street after a dispersal order was made

Officers subsequently arrested a 14-year-old boy from Southsea on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm before he was released on conditional police bail until June 8.

Another 14-year-old boy from Portsmouth arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm was also released on conditional police bail until June 7.

Now police have confirmed a third youth, a 17-year-old from Hilsea, was also arrested in connection with the incident.

He was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug. He has since been released on conditional police bail until June 8.

‘The incident remains under investigation,’ a police spokeswoman said.

The attack followed residents tormented by fear complaining of ‘feral youths’ who were ‘untouchable’ and ‘ruling the roost’ after over 100 reports of anti-social behaviour, assaults and criminal damage had been reported to police over the last year.

A police dispersal order was deployed on Monday April 26 for four days - helping to curb trouble.

But despite a reduction in criminality problems continue to persist.

The spokeswoman added: ‘In terms of incidents in and around Nessus Street, we have received several reports of anti-social behaviour over the past couple of weeks.

‘Our officers are continuing their dedicated patrols in the area and are working with the council on a longer term solution to this anti-social behaviour.’

Police have also met with residents to hear their concerns and discuss the best way forward.

But one resident admitted he feared the youths would continue to plague the area. The local said earlier this month: ‘We had the police surgery and it went well but things turned for the worst when my neighbour and myself were intimidated when we were circled by these idiots. It wasn't good.

‘All of this has been reported. It's like I said to the police and council…(the youths) would see this as a challenge to their ownership of this complex. They showed their cards.’

PS James Cole previously said: ‘Having spoken to residents, we fully understand the impact that anti-social behaviour such as this can have on people’s lives and we would like to reassure our communities that we take all reports of this nature very seriously.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to address these issues for our residents.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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