Update 11.30am 14 April:
Please note that three people arrested in connection with the incidents have been released on conditional police bail, and not released under investigation as first reported.
We are appealing for witnesses following a series of alleged robberies and assaults, one of which has left a man in a serious condition in hospital.
Original release – 13 April
Officers have been called to reports of four separate incidents involving a groups of youths described as being in their mid to late teens in the Gainsborough area since Monday.
We are keeping an open mind about the circumstances and people involved in these robberies, but we do believe that they are linked. There will be an increased police presence in the area over the next few days while we carry out our enquiries as well as reassurance patrols.
- The first incident is an assault which is reported to have happened at around 9pm on Monday 11 April at Hickman Hill, in Cox’s Hill, where a man in his 20s is alleged to have been hit around the head by two youths. He suffered a cut to his head. Incident 386 of 11 April relates.
- A robbery was then reported to have taken place at around 5.55am yesterday morning (12 April) in the Middlefield Lane area of the town. The victim, a man in his 30s, reported being approached by three young men who demanded he hand over money and his iPhone, before he reported being struck in the face causing bruising. The offenders are alleged to have taken his phone and headed in the Park Springs direction following the incident. Incident 30 of 12 April relates.
- A further incident was reported to have taken place in Elsham Walk at around 7am the same day, where the victim, a man in his 40s, is reported to have been accosted by three men who demanded he hand over his backpack and his mobile phone. He was not injured in the incident. This was reported to police at 2.16pm that day. Incident 181 of 12 April relates.
- A man in his 30s reported being accosted by a group of three youths as he walked past the skate park in Aisby Walk at around 7.40am the same day. He reported being hit round the head several times with a piece of wood, and suffered an injury to his head and a gash to his knee after falling to floor. The offenders are reported to have demanded money and his wallet, but he did not have anything to hand over.
They are believed to have carried out a sustained attack as the victim made his way to Dunstall Walk, and attempted to pull his backpack from his back before leaving. The victim may have been approached from the Middlefield Lanes direction. After the alleged assault, the victim reported the incident to police and sought medical treatment, but his condition has since deteriorated and he is now in a serious condition in ICU in hospital. We are treating this as a robbery and a serious grievous bodily harm (GBH). Incident 61 of 12 April relates.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with our investigations: an 18-year-old man, a 15-year-old boy, and a 16-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and GBH in connection with incident 61 of 12 April. They have also been arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with incident 30 of 12 April, and on suspicion of robbery in connection with incident 181 of 12 April.
The 18-year-old and the 15-year-old were also arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm (ABH) in connection with incident 386 of 11. All have been released under investigation while we conduct our enquiries.
Detective Sergeant Mike Head, said: “We believe that these robberies and assaults have all been entirely unprovoked and violent incidents, which have had a significant impact on the victims, both physically and mentally, as well as the local community.
“We would like to appeal to anyone who has information about these incidents to come forward. We are particularly keen to see any mobile phone footage, dashcam footage, or CCTV of any of the incidents.
“We understand that these details will be really worrying for people living and working in those communities to hear, and we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure your safety. This includes additional patrols in the area, as well as other tactics which we can’t talk about right now while we our investigation is underway to bring those responsible to justice.”
If you have any information which can help with our investigation, please contact us in the following ways: