Armed gang strike in front of youngsters

Children watched in horror as knife-wielding thugs stormed their street in a violent attack.

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, 1:00 pm
Falklands veteran Keith Graham (left) and residents in St Albans Road, St Annes are fed up with anti-social behaviour

Youngsters on St Albans Road in St Annes were left ‘traumatised’ after a gang of masked yobs kicked a front door and shouted death threats last week.

The incident happened as children returned home from school. Residents claim the attack is the latest in a spate of anti-social behaviour they say is damaging their community.

Angry dad Christian Jones, who lives on St Albans Road, said: “I was in the back garden and I heard a sound like someone throwing stones at a window.

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“I went out to the front and the next thing I know, all I hear is someone screaming ‘I’m going to kill you, you’re a dead man’.

“I saw this red car parked across the road with smashed-up windows. There was a man standing near the passenger side and he shouted ‘that man called the feds’. They were wearing hoodies and one of them had a scarf over his face.

“My kids were walking down the street and the men ran between them. If they had been just a few seconds slower they would have been knocked off their feet.

“This is the sort of thing that leaves kids traumatised.

“You can tell them that daddy is strong and brave and will protect them, but you can’t take away their fear.

“My little girl should be thinking about My Little Pony and fairies, and now she’s thinking she doesn’t want to go to bed in case the bad men come and get her. I feel absolutely helpless.”

Falklands War veteran Keith Graham, who also lives on St Albans Road, said: “There were more police than I’d ever seen in my life.

“It was 3.30pm in the afternoon when all the little children were coming home from school. They must have been absolutely traumatised. It makes you think what they’re going to do next.

“Having been in the forces I honestly can’t believe it. Coming back here and seeing the sort of thing that goes on, you wonder – was it all worth it?”

The 69-year-old added that it was not the first time anti-social behaviour had plagued his street, as around 20 residents gathered at a community meeting on Thursday to discuss the problem with police and Fylde Council leader Susan Fazackerley.

Insp David Oldfield, who attended the meeting, said: “We want to reassure the community that we are taking these allegations seriously.”

Coun Fazackerley said: “When I heard about the incident I was very shocked, particularly hearing about the effect it had on the children. It needs to be addressed. Anything the council can do to help through the Community Safety Partnership we will do.

“We are going to call a meeting between various agencies to discuss the issues that have been raised.”

A police spokeswoman said: “We were called at 3.50pm last Monday afternoon to reports that a door had been kicked down at an address on St Albans Road. A man was in possession of a knife and was gesturing towards the address. The man then left before the police arrived. The incident is under investigation.”