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'It was a horrific incident' - police chief pledges to come down hard on knife criminals

PUBLISHED: 17:37 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:37 27 June 2019

Chief Inspector of Great Yarmouth Police said the force will come down hard on the suspects involved in the street brawl. Picture: Jacob Massey

Chief Inspector of Great Yarmouth Police said the force will come down hard on the suspects involved in the street brawl. Picture: Jacob Massey

Archant

A Norfolk police chief has pledged to come down hard on the suspects involved in a street brawl which saw a man stabbed twice in the stomach.

Police were called to the King Street area at about 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon (June 26) to reports that about 20 people were fighting in the street. Picture: Liz CoatesPolice were called to the King Street area at about 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon (June 26) to reports that about 20 people were fighting in the street. Picture: Liz Coates

Officers were called to the King Street are of Great Yarmouth, near the St Peters Road junction, at about 4.30pm on Wednesday, June 26, after seven people became embroiled in a street fight.

Three men aged 20, 21, and 22 and a 16-year-old girl, all from Great Yarmouth, have been arrested on suspicion of affray while the victim - a 20-year-old man - remains in hospital.

Chief Inspector of Great Yarmouth Police, Nathan Clark, said three long knives had been used in the fight.

"It was a horrific incident and it will not be tolerated", he said.

A police cordon was in place at the top of King Street and St Peter's Road in Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz CoatesA police cordon was in place at the top of King Street and St Peter's Road in Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz Coates

"Taking everything into account - the time of the day, the nature of the incident and how close it happened to people in the community - robust action will be taken."

Earlier in the day, Ch Insp Clark had confirmed that forensic enquiries had been carried out at the scene of the stabbing.

CCTV evidence was also being examined along with witness statements.

He said: "Early indications are that those involved are known to one another and we are following a number of lines of enquiry."

He added that although the incident was serious, police did not believe there was any risk to the wider community.

Neighbours reacted with a mixture of fear and resignation to the street brawl.

Other people said they were drawn out of shops and homes by the commotion, but that it was "all over in minutes."

Speaking on Thursday morning, one woman pushing her child in a buggy said she was unconcerned by the attack, adding: "It's what Yarmouth is like now, it doesn't bother me."

Another resident however, walking with her mother, said she had struggled to get her young son to school at St George's Primary in St Peter's Road because he was so scared by what he had heard.

She said speculation and rumour was rife and that she felt vulnerable.

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"It is not safe," she added.

"All the time in St Peter's Road there are people gathered, blocking the pavement and spitting and smoking.

"My ten-year-old son was frightened to walk to school today and I am worried about what is going to happen in September when I was going to let him walk on his own."

Another man, close to the scene near the Londis supermarket, said the incident was not a reflection on the area.

He said some of those involved were known to him and generally "no trouble".

He said: "It was an argument between themselves and is nothing for other people not involved to worry about.

"It is not as if they stabbed an old man and nicked his fish and chips, that would be different."

A 67-year-old woman at home in Nottingham Way, her home of 19 years, said the area had gone dramatically downhill.

"It is all of society," she said. "No-one particular is to blame. It is just very, very sad.

"It makes me feel extremely vulnerable. If I came across the wrong type of people I wouldn't stand a chance.

"There have been a lot more of these problems where arguments escalate and the police have to be called. It is the way people deal with things.

"It is just a free-for-all."

The incident drew a large police response with the police dog unit also deployed.

An area at the top of King Street and St Peter's Road was cordoned off and a police tent was put up around a silver car.

The activity drew a crowd of by-standers.

Ch Insp Clark urged residents to get in contact with police if they knew of anyone who was carrying knives around in the town.

Anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police should contact Great Yarmouth CID on 101 quoting incident number 318 of 26 June 2019 date.

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