Teenager had head stamped on 'for being from Tanterton'
A father whose son had his head stamped on in Preston city centre says police need to crack down on gangs in the area before someone is killed.
The man, who does not want his family identified, has also condemned the “chattering hyenas” who prowl the streets in search of a victim - based on nothing more than their postcode.
His 15-year-old son was at the city’s bus station and about to board a number 35 bound for Tanterton when he was allegedly set upon by several youths, one of whom was heard to identify the victim as being “from Tanny”.
The incident began at around 6pm on Wednesday evening. The teenager fled on his bike, but says he was chased and pushed to the ground on Old Vicarage close to the Black-A-Moor Head pub.
Four of his attackers then kicked and stamped on his head. The incident ended only after a passer-by intervened.
“He isn’t even from Tanterton,” the boy’s father said. “My lad’s not a fighter or involved in any gangs, he just plays his football, minds his own business and gets on with his life.
“These gangs have names like ‘defenders’ - if they want to defend something, why don’t they grow a pair and join the army?
“I’m gobsmacked sometimes when I wander through Preston city centre at how large these gangs are. There can be between 30 and 40 of them - I’m nearly six and a half feet tall and even I’d find that intimidating.
The furious father says his son has been left “terrified”, but escaped with only bumps and bruises. He has also criticised the police response to the attack, in which four males were directly involved - with girls said to be “egging them on”.
“The officer who came to the house to speak us said that they would look for CCTV, but that they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything if there wasn’t any.
“But there is an eyewitness who can give a good description.
“If you don’t crack down on this, they’ll do it again because they think they can get away with it.”
Meanwhile, the man who intervened to help the stricken teenager says he did “what anybody would have done” - and now just wants those responsible caught.
Brendan Nicholas had already witnessed a gang of youths at the bus station and overheard them planning to “chase another bus to Tanterton”.
“You see it all the time in Preston - and when there are five or more of them, they have no fear,” Brendan said.
After he helped the teenager to escape, Brendan kept hold of the bike of one of the gang. But he feared he, too, would be attacked, until he met up with a friend.
“There were more than ten in total and they were yelling at me. Later, I saw them having a go at another adult,” Brendan added.
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “We were called around 7pm on Wednesday, 2nd January, following reports of an assault in Preston.
"It was reported a 15-year-old boy had been attacked by a group of boys in Tithebarn Street.
"A man stopped the assault, with the group making off from the scene. The victim suffered minor injuries.
"Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 1105 of January 2."
Responding to fears about gang culture in Preston, the force added:
“Being part of a gang can ruin the lives of those involved and those around them. Gang culture can, and does, lead to violence and serious injury.
“It can also lead to getting a criminal record and a prison sentence. A criminal record can affect people for the rest of their lives.
“We are committed to tackling this issue across Lancashire.”