Boy, 14, in court after threatening girl, 13, with knife in Doncaster's Frenchgate

A teenage boy has appeared in court charged with threatening a 13-year-old girl with a knife in Doncaster’s Frenchgate shopping centre.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:00 pm

The 14-year-old has been charged with possession of a bladed article, common assault and breach of bail after threatening the girl in the shopping centre on Tuesday.

It comes as police launch a clampdown on anti-social behaviour on gangs loitering around the centre and transport interchange.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “It is reported that the 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, was found in possession of a bladed article after being searched and detained by police at around 5.15pm on Tuesday.

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A 13-year-old girl was threatened with a knife in the Frenchgate Centre.

"The victim was uninjured.”

The teenager appeared at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court yesterday and has been bailed pending his next court appearance on 3 March.

The charge comes as part of ongoing targeted joint action by police and partners, to tackle antisocial behaviour and disorder in Doncaster town centre.

Inspector Mark Payling from the Doncaster Central Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "We know that at present, there are issues in the town centre with young people gathering in the area at the weekends, and participating in antisocial behaviour, especially around the Frenchgate Centre. There is no place for this kind of behaviour in our town centre, or anywhere in Doncaster.

"I hope this charge acts as a warning to those young people that are intent on carrying out antisocial behaviour and participating in violent crime in the town centre that this behaviour is not acceptable, and we will bring you before the courts.”

Insp Payling added: "Our officers are carrying out a range of work in the town centre to tackle the ongoing issues including working with our local authority partners, and particularly the Town Centre Ambassadors and Frenchgate Centre security staff, to conduct joint patrols.

"We are also working closely with local educational establishments to provide advice to young people about their behaviour in the town, and the consequences of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour.

"If your child often goes out with their friends or into the town centre at weekends, please consider where they may be and if they are acting appropriately.

"I'd also urge those who live in or visit the town centre to continue to raise any concerns with us they may have.

We are working hard to take proactive, preventative steps to stop anti social behaviour and other crime from happening in the first place, keeping our town centre a safe place for people to enjoy.”

Last month, police clamped down on gangs responsible for anti-social behaviour in the tunnels leading from the interchange to the nearby B&M store in Church View after reports that gangs had been intimidating shoppers and smoking drugs in the area.

A blitz led to a number of arrests for drug dealing.

Anyone with information about crime and anti-social behaviour in Doncaster town centre can contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or alternatively, contact Crime Stoppers anonymously with details on 0800 555 111.