Investigations still 'ongoing' after 150 youths attack historical Whalley Abbey

A vicar and his wife were harassed, police officers were assaulted and historic ruins were damaged when 150 yobs descended on Whalley Abbey last weekend.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 3:28 pm

Lancashire Police have confirmed they are still on with their investigations into the distressing events that took place at the Ribble Valley beauty spot last weekend, August 28 and 29.

And one of the young offenders is now working with the Reverend and his wife to understand the impact of his behaviour.

It was reported that around 150 young people descended on Whalley Abbey last weekend, caused criminal damage to the historic ruins and harassed the local vicar and his wife as well as families with children.

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Police invoke dispersal order after youths attack Lancashire beauty spot

Police were assaulted and introduced a Section 34 Dispersal Order to areas of the village, allowing police to disperse people from within a mapped area, who they believe are there to cause disorder and unrest in the area.

Lancashire Constabulary has since confirmed there were no major incidents over the rest of the weekend as a result of the order and are asking residents to come forward to Lancashire Talking to report other local issues.

Chief Inspector for Pendle and the Ribble Valley, Martyn Holt said: “Last weekend a Section 34 Dispersal Order was granted for Whalley following reports of ASB in the area over the summer, escalating on the 22 August to 150 young people in the local area causing a significant disturbance, criminal damage and assault.

Officers are working with the local youth hub and residents

“Extra resources were assigned to the Ribble Valley, including Special Constables, to provide reassurance and patrol the area. Thankfully, the weekend passed mostly without incident, though a small group of youths were dispersed, and some headway was made on identifying those responsible for the damage.

"One young man is now working with the Reverend and his wife so far through the restorative justice avenue to understand the impact of his behaviour. Investigations are ongoing in relation to the assaults and criminal damage.

“Officers will continue to work with partners in BTP, National Rail and Youth Services to tackle the ongoing issue of ASB in the Ribble Valley, and would encourage residents to sign up to Lancashire Talking and work with us to do so.

“While we are very grateful for the insurmountable support of our residents, some have suggested on our social media, there is little for young people to do; but this does not, and never will excuse this reckless and dangerous behaviour that was on display that weekend, and we will continue to work with our communities to tackle this.”

The Ribble Valley beauty spot was targeted and vandalised by 150 youths on the weekend
Officers are still working to identify the yobs and investigate the incident