A Doncaster dad says he is being forced to move out of the village that has been his home for 30 years because escalating problems with violence and anti-social behaviour have led to his daughter feeling too afraid to live there.
Stuart Boardman has lived in Hexthorpe since 1984, when his family moved to the area after his father was killed while serving in Germany.
Despite having several friends and family members who live in the area rand unning social enterprise centred around community events in Hexthorpe, the 43-year-old says he and his family have taken the ‘tough’ decision to leave.
He says this comes after his 10-year-old daughter, Kenzie, told her parents that she wanted the family to move because she felt scared after an incident in which a man was slashed in the face with a knife in broad daylight during an attack on Urban Road last month.
He said: “We’d been for a coach day trip to Scarborough, and as we were on the way back, the news about what had gone off broke on Facebook. People were talking about how they’d heard someone had been slashed in the face and we walked into all of that. She’s asked us to move out before, but I guess we’ve never really taken it seriously, but being around and heaiing about things like this has obviously affected her more than we realised. It’s tough. I do feel like I’m abandoning ship a bit, but I’ve got to do what’s best for my family. I think a lot of people are feeling like this at the moment.”
Stuart’s comments come just days after police were called out to Mutual Street, Hexthorpe on Friday night when children using the nearby play park were reportedly threatened with a knife. Public spaces protection orders were introduced in Hexthorpe last summer after racial tensions and violent offences in the village reached fever pitch.
Insp Lynne Lancaster said police were ‘acutely aware’ of the problems in Hexthorpe and were committed to making it a safe place to live.