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Police have stepped up patrols after Diss town centre fight

Mere Street, Diss. Picture Mark Bullimore. (7387758)
Mere Street, Diss. Picture Mark Bullimore. (7387758)

Police are carrying out a series of patrols tonight and over the weekend following an incident in Diss town centre during which three youths were arrested on suspicion of affray.

The patrols are designed to reassure the public after the incident on Tuesday night, during which initial reports to the police indicated the use of knives.

Three teenagers, two aged 15 and one aged 16, were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of affray, assault and possession of an offensive weapon, following the disturbance at Mere’s Mouth.

All those arrested have been released under investigation.

Officers were called to Mere Street shortly after 5pm to reports that a number of youths were involved in a fight. Police arrived on the scene to find an 18-year-old with minor injuries to his knee and wrist, which paramedics treated at the scene.

Eye witness CharlotteLand, who works at Break charity shop, said she saw two groups of youths shouting at each other before three youths from one group punched and kicked a youth from the second group to the ground.

Police Inspector Jason Selvarajah. Picture Mecha Morton
Police Inspector Jason Selvarajah. Picture Mecha Morton

Diss Police Inspector Jason Selvarajah, pictured, said: “Because of the initial reports that came to us, we took direct positive action. No knives have been found, no knives have been used, or seen on any CCTV footage.”

A large number of youths remained in the area following the incident, which led to police implementing a Section 34 order covering Mere Park, Victoria Road, Morrisons car park and the town centre from 6.30pm for three evenings.

This means that officers can order anyone to leave the area, or face arrest, if they suspected a likelihood of anti-social behaviour.

Insp Selvarajah said officers had recently been talking to a number of youths and their parents about the dangers of forming gangs.

"Over the last couple of weeks we have brought a number of local youths and their parents in to the police station for vulnerability interviews," said inspector Selvarajah.

"The reason behind that is that people in Diss who are likely to form or join gangs are more likely to be infiltrated by other existing gang members. So it is about protecting them.

"The people we see as causing some of our issues locally are likely to become victims of the future, so we try to work with them and their families."

Inspector Selvarajah could not confirm if any of the youths spoken to were involved in Tuesday's incident.

He added: "We would also appeal for parents of young children to know where their children are and what they are doing.

"These teenagers are still very young."

"We are also planning a knife, gang, drug and county line awareness stand in Diss on Saturday March 2 between 11am and 3pm at Mere's Mouth. This will be for any parents and children to chat to the police on any of these issues."

This article appears in the current edition of the Diss Express

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