Police need to clampdown on ‘feral’ gangs in Huthwaite before someone is killed.
That is the view of Ashfield councillor, Lee Anderson, following the recent attack on a teenager who needed surgery to repair his shattered jaw.
Ryan Winnals, 19, (pictured above) was on his own and minding his own business when a gang of up to eight youths attacked him outside Tesco on Chesterfield Road during daylight hours.
No words were exchanged, they simply walked up and began raining blows down on him, leaving him unconscious.
He spent three days in hospital and his step mother understandably called for them to be brought to justice.
Police say they are treating it is as hate crime because Ryan dresses as a goth, usually all in black.
But Coun Anderson says gangs of ‘feral’ youths have been causing misery around the village for some time, and the latest crime is just a log line in unacceptable incidents.
Even prior to the attack on Ryan, he had been so worried about it that he invited Ashfield’s leading officer, Inspector Glenn Longden, and crime commissioner, Paddy Tipping, to the village.
Coun Anderson said: “We’ve had a problem with anti-social behaviour for some time, it’s got so bad I got Paddy Tipping and Glenn Longden out here for a walk around the area, and they promised that Huthwaite would be a high priority.
“These people causing these problems are feral, there’s no other word for them.
“Since Paddy and Glenn came out, things have got even worse. These people think they have carte blanche to do what they want.
“There’s been a series of arson attacks, people are being threatened and some people have said they are now wanting to leave the village.
“We need action before gets killed, the police need to step up.
“Ryan was in a public place and kicked half to death because he was on his own.”
In response, commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I understand the concerns of Huthwaite’s councillors and residents which is why I’ve been out and about, walking around the area meeting residents and local officers - and that is why I’m in regular contact with the local police.
“This is a serious assault but I am satisfied, having discussed it with the police, that it is being investigated very thoroughly.”
So far, no arrests have been made in the attack on Ryan Winnals.
Meanwhile, Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has visited the Selston home of Ryan Winnals and spoke with the recovering teenager.
She said: “Ryan was subjected to a violent attack in broad daylight.
“Those responsible should be punished for their vile actions.
“Ryan has shown great courage in speaking out about what happened and I urge anybody who saw anything or who has heard anything about who was responsible for this assault to come forward with that information.”
Meanwhile, Dean Dakin of the Ashfield North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This incident has been treated as not just a very serious assault but as a hate crime since the circumstances became clear shortly after it was reported.
“Hate crime includes crimes against people who identify with alternative lifestyles and sub-cultures.”
Contact police on 101 quoting 613 of May 21 if you have details.