PUBLISHED: 12:22 10 August 2007 | UPDATED: 22:58 28 May 2010
BASEBALL bats, a Stanley knife and two socks concealing crowbars were seized by police when they moved to stop a gang of youths hell bent on attacking migrant workers. As the youths gathered in a car park in Chatteris, police turned up in force, fearing t
BASEBALL bats, a Stanley knife and two socks concealing crowbars were seized by police when they moved to stop a gang of youths hell bent on attacking migrant workers.
As the youths gathered in a car park in Chatteris, police turned up in force, fearing that this was the moment the gang planned to make their first attacks.
In the melée that followed, Sgt Stuart Hurst was bitten on the leg but four youths were arrested and have been bailed while investigations continue.
Sector inspector Robin Sissons said in the week leading up to July 30, when the arrests were made, the town had been abuzz with rumours of a confrontation.
Various reports had been studied by police that local youths were angry and upset that Lithuanian and other migrant workers were having more success with local girls than they were.
"The girls, seemingly, were happy to have the attention," said Insp Sissons. "But in the process it seems local boys had their noses put out of joint."
Whatever the reasons, said Insp Sissons, there was a build-up of ill will and reports of rising tensions.
"Possible flash points were identified and the officers attended those areas" he said.
However at 10pm on July 30, a task force of police officers, special constables and community officers was put together after reports of likely large scale disorder.
Section 60 orders were authorised, giving police powers of stop and search, and cars were stopped and searched in a car park.
"This is an excellent example of neighbourhood policing at its best," said Insp Sissons. "It has got to have a huge positive reassurance impact on the town and the communities within it.
"It also sends out a strong message that persons cannot take the law into their own hands.