Hexthorpe residents fear violence could escalate

The victim of a stabbing in Hexthorpe on August 31 is pictured talking to Police. Picture by resident Stuart Boardman

The victim of a stabbing in Hexthorpe on August 31 is pictured talking to Police. Picture by resident Stuart Boardman


Residents fear somebody will be killed unless more is done to deal with unrest in a Doncaster community.

Community leaders in Hexthorpe say not enough is being done to deal with community tensions - which boiled over on Sunday night into a street fight in which two people were stabbed.

But police say they have stepped up patrols, and are putting more officers on the streets there.

Tensions have been high in Hexthorpe for months between long-standing residents and new groups of Polish and Slovakian residents.

On Sunday night the situation erupted into violence.

A fight broke out between groups of Polish and Slovakian men, and two were stabbed.

The wounded men are continuing to receive hospital treatment for their injuries, which are not life threatening.

Officers arrested three men on suspicion of affray, and another on suspicion of wounding, and all four men were still in custody last night.

Village resident and member of the Hexthorpe Matters group, Stuart Boardman, says police have not been taking seriously enough crime that occurs in the area, and fears someone could be killed if the situation does not improve.

“We’ve been saying this is on the cards for months and months,” said the 41-year-old, of Crawshaw Road.

“I know of three knife crimes in the area that police haven’t investigated. The police are not taking what’s happening here seriously. It’s disgusting.

“Every group of people here - British, Slovakian, Polish - have been rubbing each other up the wrong way.

“Things were quiet over the summer, but since everyone’s come back from holiday things have started again. We knew things might kick off again, but no-one expected it would be as fast as this.

“People here are scared to leave the house because of what it’s like here now. I won’t let my 14-year-old daughter even walk by herself to the shop, which is 400 yards from our house. If I can’t see her from the house she can’t go, and a lot of parents around here are the same.”

He added: “The landlady of The Star Bar says her pub has been empty of pensioners in the evening because pensioners are too scared to leave the house.

“The police are going for a softly-softly approach but that’s not what we need.

“I think we need 24-hour policing in Hexthorpe. Things have got that bad.”

Police say they are trying to tackle the disorder by putting on extra patrols, and they have mounted officers patrolling the Hexthorpe area.

Superintendent Natalie Shaw, responsible for policing in Doncaster, said: “Incidents of this nature are relatively rare but we understand they can have a huge impact on the local community.

“We have increased the number of officers patrolling in the Hexthorpe area to offer a visible presence and reassurance to the community.

“I would encourage members of the public to approach officers if they have any information or concerns.

“We will take robust action against anyone who involves themselves in these types of incidents. We are committed to keeping people safe from harm and will work together with other agencies to take positive action against those responsible.”

Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




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