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'Disturbance' in Bexleyheath sees patrols stepped up in town centre

PUBLISHED: 10:56 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 13 November 2017

A disturbance was reported in Bexleyheath on Thursday evening

A disturbance was reported in Bexleyheath on Thursday evening

Archant

Police received six calls of young people fighting on Thursday evening

Police are stepping up patrols around Bexleyheath amid reports of teenagers fighting in the town centre.

Around 25 young people, thought to be sixth formers from a college within the borough, were spotted “causing a disturbance and fighting” near Marks and Spencers at around 5pm on Thursday.

Six concerned onlookers made calls to the police.

Borough commander Stuart Bell has rejected claims on social media that some young people were carrying knives.

Chief superintendent Bell said: “No crimes have been alleged, there were no injuries and there is no evidence of knives being present at this stage.

“We believe we have identified the college these young people attend and will be speaking to senior staff today.

“We will also be putting extra resources and CCTV into the town centre tonight to help prevent any reoccurrence.”

The incident comes 14 months after around 100 schoolchildren were part of a mass brawl in Northumberland Heath.

Ch Supt Bell added: “After the events in Northumberland Heath, we are really alert to anything that happens in or around town centres across the borough, this does not appear to be on that scale.

“We will continue to review the evidence and respond to any new information.”

In the wake of the incident, Broadway Shopping Centre has moved to calm shoppers ahead of the Christmas rush.

Rai Holdstock, centre manager, said: “Following the minor disturbances on Thursday evening, the Broadway Shopping Centre is continuing to keep the safety of our customers at the forefront and dealing with these issues where possible head on.

“The centre’s security team continue to work very closely with the police, as well as the local business improvement district, to ensure that there are police or local community support officers in the area to try and catch any potential issues before they may arise.

“Fortunately these skirmishes are few and far between however we will continue to monitor and make every effort to ensure that public safety is maintained”

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