Residents ‘afraid to walk the streets’ following recent stabbings and attacks in Hastings and St Leonards
Residents say crime is getting worse in Hastings and St Leonards following a series of violent attacks in the area over the past few days.
They have called for extra security measures to be put in place after the latest victim was stabbed in Hastings in the early hours of yesterday morning (Sunday, November 7). The 42-year-old man suffered stab wounds to his chest and leg in the attack near the junction between Bohemia Road and White Rock Road, police said. He is receiving hospital treatment for the injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening. Police said his assailants are described as two white boys, aged about 16-17, both about 5ft 7ins tall.
Shortly before 3.20am on Saturday (November 6), a man who stepped out for some fresh air was was robbed outside his home in St Leonards. The 52-year-old left his flat in De Cham Road and was attacked by two men who grabbed and repeatedly punched him, stealing cash before making off. The victim received hospital treatment for cuts and bruises to his face and leg. Investigator Bernadette Peters said it was a “vicious and random attack on a resident who was simply relaxing just outside his own home.” His assailants were both described as white, slim, aged about 18, wearing hoodies and joggers.
Just before 1am on Friday (November 5), a house and car were damaged in Augustus Way
, St Leonards, in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity. Three window panels at the house and one of the car windows were smashed. Then at about 11.50pm that same day, two men were seen to approach the car, parked directly outside the house, and set it on fire. The occupants of the address were not injured. Sussex Police believe the incidents resulted from a case of mistaken identity, and the elderly couple who live there were not the intended targets.
News of the recent attacks has shocked residents - with some calling for extra police on the streets. John Tolhurst was one of the many who commented on the Hastings Observer’s Facebook page: “Sad to see Hastings and St Leonards going downhill over the last few years - getting as bad as London with the stabbings and drug-related crime.”
Trevor Jarman said: “Time was when I would walk to or from Warrior Square station in the pitch dark. There were usually some colourful characters around, but they were friendly and harmless. I wouldn’t do that now.”
Claire Bear said: “It’s so sad what’s happening on our streets.” She said it shows police are needed more on the streets than patrolling in their cars: “Growing up, a police presence on the streets was vital and it showed that they cared and also that they were there if needed.”
On Saturday October 30, a man suffered serious injuries after being stabbed in Wellington Place, Hastings town centre. Officers arrested a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of wounding with intent.