More Police On Streets After Rochdale Street Violence

Rochdale Violence

PA/Huffington Post   First Posted: 24/02/2012 09:39 Updated: 24/02/2012 09:39

Police are to send more patrols out on the streets of Rochdale following a series of attacks on Asian takeaways.

Trouble began on Thursday evening as a mob of around 200 youths congregated in the centre of the Heywood area of the town in Greater Manchester.

Bricks and other missiles were thrown at police Officers and two arrests were made after windows were damaged at a takeaway on Bridge Street in disturbances that are believed to be linked to the on-going trial of men at Liverpool Crown Court.

One car belonging to a member of the public and three police vehicles were also damaged while an officer suffered bruising to his legs and arms.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and police assault and a 14-year-old boy was arrested for causing danger to a public highway.

Police in riot vans flooded into the area and the mob of young people was eventually dispersed by officers at about 11pm.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney told the Press Association: "Greater Manchester Police, in conjunction with its partners and communities, is aware of the tensions in the borough that have come about because of an on-going court case in Liverpool.

"I understand that there will be concern following this evening's events, and to offer reassurance there is a significant police presence in the area this evening. We will maintain and increase police presence in the coming weeks to keep up our reassurance.

"We ask that the community acts responsibly during this difficult time.

"We are monitoring social media sites and ask anybody who is concerned or has information to share with us to go either through their local neighbourhood policing team, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by GMP using the 101 service."

Zeeshan Khokhar, 23, owner of Bits n Pizza, a take-away on Market Street, said he was verbally abused, though his shop was not damaged.

Mr Khokhar said "white friends" came to his shop to protect him as trouble began brewing.

He said: "It started about 4pm, kids banging on windows. They were shouting, 'Why are you still open you dirty bastards?'. The police came and told us to shut up shop.

"We are just doing business.

"Our white friends, they came here and they are protecting us and customers were standing outside our door.

"They said we have just come to keep an eye on you.

"But it's not good, it hurts and we are very worried about what's going to happen."

Mr Khokhar said he only took over the shop seven weeks ago and his business has nothing to do with the trial in Liverpool.

Inspector Steve Clark, GMP's neighbourhood police inspector for Heywood said: "There were a number of young children out this evening and I would like to ask that their parents are conscious of this in the coming days and weeks."

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