Gang of ‘rioting’ youths ruin summer gala for estate

David Craig, Gail Chatterton, Bobbie Craig and Danni Whitworth from Warwick Ahead.
David Craig, Gail Chatterton, Bobbie Craig and Danni Whitworth from Warwick Ahead.

A gang of youths ‘ran riot’ at a summer gala.

Organisers said a group of around 30 children and teenagers – aged from around eight to 16 – ambushed the Warwick estate event in Knottingley.

It was organised gang warfare – they came with every intention of making trouble

Hazel Richardson, chairwoman

Bobbie Craig, from community group Warwick Ahead, said she was assaulted, organisers were verbally abused, and the youths refused to move from a roller rink that had been put up for the day.

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Mrs Craig said: “We had a fantastic day until the end and then what I can only describe as a mob descended when we were dismantling the roller-skating rink.

“They were verbally abusive, screaming, calling us all kinds of horrendous names, they sat on the rink and wouldn’t move, and they kicked the tools out of a worker’s hands. It was a total riot.

“One girl followed me home and tried to pry my phone out of my hand, she said there was nothing I could do about it.”

Mrs Craig’s husband David, who was helping to dismantle the rink, said: “It was a horrendous incident. The profanity coming out of the mouths of children was horrific and the parents did nothing to stop it.”

Warwick Ahead chairwoman Hazel Richardson said: “It was organised gang warfare – they came with every intention of making trouble.”

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As a result of the disturbance two events planned for later this years, at Halloween and Christmas, have been abandoned by the community group’s board.

Mrs Craig said the group could not put the safety of the workmen or volunteers at risk.

Mrs Richardson said the vast majority of the 250 children at the event behaved well.

She said: “We are looking at making sure the kids that weren’t involved don’t miss out.

“But some of the kids have had their chance. They blew it big time and they blew it for everyone else.

“We are all a bit downhearted because it’s not just not fair that the ones the behaved have to suffer because of a minority.”

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Warwick Ahead is a community organisation that was awarded £1 million as part of a scheme called “Big Local” to invest in the estate and improve lives for residents. A total of 150 locations across the country were given grants.

West Yorkshire Police were called to the disturbance.

The force confirmed it was investigating and enquiries were ongoing.