Teenagers wreak fears 'someone could be killed' after catapulting rocks and wood off abandoned Debenhams store

TEENAGERS wreaked fear that ‘someone could be killed’ in Portsmouth city centre after catapulting rocks and wood from an abandoned store.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th April 2021, 3:07 pm

As much of the country was holding a minute’s silence for Prince Philip at 3pm on Saturday, shoppers in Commercial Road who had ventured out for the first weekend since lockdown restrictions were eased found themselves in the line of fire.

Rocks, rotten wood and other objects were launched from the roof of the now closed Debenhams store by two youths as people basked in the sunshine by the water fountain and on benches beneath the former shop.

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Police investigate as objects thrown off abandoned Debenhams store in Commercial Road on April 17. Pic Steve Deeks

A couple, who narrowly avoided being hit by the missiles, rushed from beneath the building to inform nearby security before police were called.

‘There’s people above the store throwing things like rotten wood and rocks down below onto the street which nearly hit us. It’s lucky they haven’t hit anyone because it’s so busy,’ one man said.

‘We don’t want anyone to get hurt. Someone could get killed if they get hit on the head.’

Another witness said the teenagers had breached the empty Debenhams store.

Police investigate as objects thrown off abandoned Debenhams store in Commercial Road on April 17. Pic Steve Deeks

‘I could definitely see some movement inside the building,’ they said.

A nearby shop owner said: ‘We’ve been told there’s some kids on the roof throwing things. Police are investigating.’

Police and security watched the store for movement before two officers went around the back of the block as they attempted to track down the yobs.

The teenagers were eventually found before being removed by site security.

Police investigate as objects thrown off abandoned Debenhams store in Commercial Road on April 17. Pic Steve Deeks

Police confirmed the youths were not arrested.

A spokesman said: ‘We were called at 3.10pm on Saturday with reports of two teenagers on the roof of Debenhams.

‘It was reported the individuals were throwing items down onto the ground below.

Police investigate as objects thrown off abandoned Debenhams store in Commercial Road on April 17. Pic Steve Deeks

‘The individuals were subsequently removed by site security before leaving the area.’

Debenhams announced in January it was closing its Commercial Road store as part of six closures across England, including in London, Staines, Harrogate, Weymouth and Worcester.

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