Knifepoint robbery of 12-year-old girl sends shockwaves through town
- Credit: Archant/Terry Jermy/Norfolk Conservatives
A “shocking” robbery which saw a 12-year-old girl threatened at knifepoint has been roundly condemned by community leaders.
The victim was walking along Norwich Road, Thetford, on Friday evening when she was approached by three men armed with knives.
Police say the trio threatened the girl and demanded money at around 8.15pm, near former pub, The Ark.
The child, who was not injured, handed over £25 and the suspects fled the scene.
People in Thetford have since expressed disbelief over the young age of the victim and public nature of the robbery, which happened on the main road running through the town.
Mike Brindle, Breckland district councillor for the Priory ward, said: “This is a busy street with housing and a supermarket nearby. It is an extraordinary place for it to happen.
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“It is very public and you wouldn’t expect someone to take a chance there. We are lucky that we haven’t had a problem with knife crime in the past, so this is an awful development.
“Like anywhere, some people are concerned about women and girls walking alone in the dark, but this is a main road and there are street lights.”
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Jane James, who represents the Castle ward, added: “It is incredibly shocking and, as a mum myself, you always worry about your children - regardless of whether incidents like this happen locally or not.
“My thoughts are with that girl and her family, and I hope she is getting all the support she needs.
“On the whole Thetford is a safe place. We have had incidents in the past but often those involved are known to each other. This sort of attack is incredibly unusual.”
Roy Brame, a former mayor of the town, admitted he was staggered at the location of the attack.
“For this to happen on a main thoroughfare, I find absolutely incredible,” added Mr Brame.
“Thetford sometimes gets a bad reputation, but it is becoming a very nice place to live and incidents like this are very rare.”
Following the robbery, police hope to see witnesses come forward with information and CCTV or dash cam footage.
Those who can help are being asked to contact Det Con Daniel Mather at Thetford CID by calling 101, quoting crime reference 36/65725/20.