Stabbing of teenager in Portsmouth highlights 'abandoned' corner of city centre

THE stabbing of a teenage boy in broad daylight has highlighted how run-down and abandoned part of the city centre has become.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 9:58 am

On Friday, April 30 at around 5.30pm, emergency services were called to Portsmouth city centre after a 19-year-old was stabbed in the precinct between Arundel Street and Slindon Street.

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, and The News understands he has also had major surgery over the weekend.

Sian Marie Stott, owner of S&D Sparkles in Arundel Street, was inside the store with her friend Paula Clark when the attack happened.

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Detectives were on the scene after the victim was rushed to hospital. Picture: David George

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By the time the pair got outside, a Royal Navy sailor, a woman and a man in an orange t-shirt were already tending to the teenager.

According to figures on police.uk, there have consistently been more crimes in this area than any other part of the city centre since May 2020.

In March, 16 crimes in this area were reported to the police.

Police closed off the area after the stabbing took place. Picture: David George

With rising crime, shops closing down and the promise of imminent redevelopment, Sian believes the area is being ‘forgotten’ by the council and police.

She said: ‘Things around here have gone from bad to worse – this has to stop.

‘Police don’t come round this way as much anymore and because there aren’t cameras everywhere, criminals know they can get away with it.

‘This precinct has become a hot-bed for crime, we all hate being here but we feel abandoned.’

Ward councillor for Charles Dickens, Cllr Claire Udy, agrees that improvements must be made to the Arundel Street precinct sooner rather than later.

She said: ‘I’m still processing the fact that something like this can happen in broad daylight.

‘To a degree Sian is right – we’ve lost U Need Us, Debenhams and the Asian market around there, so the area has changed a lot.

‘When I started as a councillor three years ago, the PCSOs would patrol the area all the time.

‘I hope this serves as a reminder to the police to become more proactive around this part of the city centre, and perhaps the council should get some more cameras fitted too.’

Portsmouth City Council has been granted funding from the Future High Street Fund, which Cllr Udy said will lead to some cash being injected back into Arundel Street.

Police are urging anyone with information, or who has footage from a camera, to get in touch by calling 101, quoting the crime reference number 44210165339.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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