09:45AM, Thursday 08 March 2018
Maidenhead High Street after a stabbing outside McDonald's in October
Worried parents have joined together to tackle what they claim is a recent trend of violent attacks on the town’s young people.
A pair of mums have set up a Facebook group called Make Our Town Safe Again which they hope will become a platform for the community to confront and reduce the crimes.
Maidenhead residents Jolene Rogers, 38, and Sara Pope, 35, met online while discussing their fears about teenagers attacking young people in the town.
Sara, a support worker with a daughter in secondary school, said: “Maidenhead didn’t used to be like this.
“Parents are worried about their children going into Maidenhead and whether they are going to come home safely.”
In October last year, a 16-year-old and two 15-year-old boys from Slough were arrested on suspicion of GBH after an 18-year-old man was stabbed near McDonald’s in Maidenhead High Street.
In April, a 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being stabbed outside the Tenpin bowling alley in St Cloud Way.
Jolene and Sara want to see more policing to deter such attacks, especially on Saturdays.
They are drafting a message to Theresa May MP about their concerns and also want to know what headteachers and the council, and its community wardens, can do.
Sara said: “They (some teenagers) have individual groups that have got different names.
“There are some names that are the really scary ones and everyone knows to stay away from them because they are going to be carrying knives.”
“Something has got to give,” added Jolene, who has children in primary and secondary school.
“What is going to happen next?
“I think the kids are trying to out-do what the last group of children did (in an attack).”
Despite only starting the Facebook group on Sunday, Make Our Town Safe Again had attracted more than 800 members by yesterday (Wednesday).
Members can discuss plans for tackling crime committed between young people and related issues.
A key concern of the group is the use of social media and Jolene said she knew of an attack in the town centre, which happened about two weeks ago, when the secondary school-aged female victim was filmed by a group of girls and the video was posted on social media.
The Advertiser understands that police are aware of the incident.
Jolene has started a petition calling on Instagram to ban ‘fight videos’, which can be signed at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/ban-pages-on-instagram-inviting-fight-videos-being-uploaded?source=facebook-share-button&time=1519757906
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