Northampton school criticises police response to masked gang near grounds

The Duston School has formally complained to police for sending one Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) to the school after making reports of a gang of masked youths outside.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 10:43 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 3:59 pm
The group of youths were seen on Berrywood Road, directly opposite the school on Monday and Tuesday this week.
The group of youths were seen on Berrywood Road, directly opposite the school on Monday and Tuesday this week.

The incident took place at the end of the school day on Monday (December 2) when teachers called 999 after spotting the masked group of youths.

Headteacher Sam Strickland said: "On Monday senior staff called 999 and the police response was not as extensive as we had hoped for, with just a PCSO being dispatched.

"I have formally complained to the police about this, requesting an increased presence in and around the school."

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Five police officers were then dispatched to the school on Tuesday, just missing the gang who returned in the early part of Tuesday evening.

For the foreseeable future, the school is making sure its senior leadership team will be at the school gates at home time.

Responding to the criticism by the school, a Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: “On Monday afternoon the force received a call regarding a gathering of masked youths in Berrywood Road, Duston.

“Based on the information given in that call, which did not include any mention of weapons, and balanced against the other demands on police resources at that time, a Police Community Support Officer was deployed to the scene.

“No offences have been identified in relation to the incident, and the local Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) has had a presence outside Duston School at the end of each school day since to provide reassurance and deter any further issues.

“We appreciate that the incident caused concern within the local community, and would reassure parents and residents that the NPT is continuing to work with the youths involved, as well as the school and partners.

“Anyone with either information or related concerns is encouraged to contact the NPT by calling 101 or emailing [email protected]