Fight against gang violence in Netherfield


A “horrific” daytime attack on a man in Netherfield has pushed an onlooker to call for action over the “terroising yobs”.

Witnesses claim the man was targeted by a gang who had been intimidating people outside the shopping centre on Farthing Grove.

Thames Valley Police confirmed the 48-year-old victim suffered minor injuries to the back of his head following the assault, which happened around 11.30am on March 27.

A witness of the attack told the Citizen: “It has become a frightening place to use over the last few years. The drunks and drug addicts have made it into a ghetto.

“People just stood around watching in horror; mums with babies and children and old age pensioners.

“Only one person had the decency to stand up to them. It was a woman from the hedgerows Children’s Centre on Netherfield, a very brave and amazing lady.

“Another woman went to the aid of the man whilst she was challenging the gang - she did not back off, but stood her ground and no-one came to her aid.

“What a sad world we live in when people are too afraid to stand up for what is right.

“I am disabled and was unable to help this woman - I wish I could have.

“Maybe if more people stood up and said ‘enough is enough’ we could get our estate back to being a decent place to live.

“Well done to those two women for their bravery and for caring.

“Come on Milton Keynes Council and the police, it is time to do something about these yobs that terrorise our shops, estate and the good residents of Netherfield.”

Labour councillor Steve Coventry, who represents Netherfield, said he has been contacted numerous times about the incident, but urged the public not to be frightened about visiting the shopping centre in the future.

Mr Coventry said: “From what I have been told it was a very serious, nasty attack. It is one of these things that doesn’t happen often, but it is horrific to know that it happened in front of women and children who were just going about their daily business.

“It is important that we have a visible police presence on the streets because this area is known for having drinkers who hang around and hassle people passing by.

“We need to know that police can respond to incidents quickly, but since the police station closed about six months ago, their ability to have a quick response has been diminished.

“People are thinking it is becoming a forgotten area and that no one cares.

“But I would like to stress that Netherfield is not a bad area and crime is not high, it’s just a handful of people who ruin it for everyone.

“We all need to make sure we are working together to resolve these issues. The agencies can do better and they need to do better; they are not passing their exams.”

In response to questions surrounding help the victim received during the attack, Mr Coventry said:

“I understand that in today’s climate why people do not want to get involved; the last thing they should do is put themselves in danger.

“In a case like this, you don’t know if that person has a knife so personal safety is a priority.

“But to pick up the phone and dial 999 is not putting yourself at risk.

“We need people to come forward and give evidence so these people can be held to account.”