Cameras call after boy happy slapped

Martin Graham at the playground in Boundary Park (Layton) where his son was attacked
Martin Graham at the playground in Boundary Park (Layton) where his son was attacked
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THE father of a young boy who was “happy slapped” by thugs in a park is calling for better CCTV in the area.

Martin Graham’s 13-year-old son was sharing a private joke with a friend in Boundary Park, on the Grange Park estate, when three older teenagers turned on him.

The terrified youngster was punched in the face and knocked to the ground while one of the yobs filmed the assault on his mobile phone.

Mr Graham, 28, from Grange Park, said: “My son was sat on a bench with his friend when this yob walked past. They were laughing at the time when this lad came back and said ‘are you laughing at me?’

“My son told him they weren’t, they were having a private joke and asked him to leave them alone.

“He came back with another couple of lads and a mobile phone. My son’s friend heard one of them say ‘film it’ and my son was punched in the face and knocked to the ground.

“He came home upset and said he’d been assaulted. It’s affected him physically and mentally.

“He had bruises on his face, blood in his mouth and a broken nose.

“We have told him to start getting the bus back from school because it’s not safe.

“It’s awful, I want to know what is being done about violent crime like this.”

The horrific attack happened around 4pm on January 19. Mr Graham reported the incident to the police who have been unable to catch the offenders.

A spokesman for Blackpool Police said: “We take reports like this seriously. An area search was carried out, but no trace was found of the offenders.”

Mr Graham believes a CCTV camera in the area would not only help the police catch criminals, it would deter offenders.

He added: “It’s a big open space around that area. We would feel safer if there was CCTV in areas where you get groups of people gathering and where you are more likely to get violence. I don’t expect CCTV cameras on every corner but in prominent places.”

Ironically, Blackpool Council is currently considering slashing its CCTV budget as part of town hall cost cutting.

However, a spokesman said: “We do not currently have CCTV available at Boundary Park however local ward councillors do have a ward budget they can use to pay for cameras to be set up. If they were to wish to do this it could be arranged.”

The three thugs are described as white, around 5ft 8in tall and aged 17 or 18. They were all wearing hoodies, one of which was yellow.

They were last seen running off in the direction of Layton.

Anyone with information is urged to call Blackpool Police on (01253) 293933 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.