Teenagers arrested as robberies bring targeted police patrols in Fishponds
POLICE are mounting targeted patrols after a series of robberies in the Fishponds area.
Most of the victims of the muggings have been teenagers – and there have been eight arrests, also all of teenage boys.
Avon and Somerset police say they are keeping an open mind about whether several incidents involving muggings by gangs of boys on bikes are linked.
Two of the most recent incidents reported to officers happened within just over an hour of each other on June 18.
In the first, at around 6.30pm, two schoolboys aged 12 and 14 said they were approached by a group of four older boys on Oldbury Court Road, near the Steiner Academy Bristol.
The older boys punched and threatened them and took them to Vassalls Park, where they stole cash and snacks from them.
Just over an hour later, at 7.45pm, a 19-year-old man reported that he had been robbed of his bike in Eastville Park.
Police arrested five boys, all aged 15 or 16, on Fishponds Road soon afterwards.
All were later released under investigation pending further enquiries.
The Vassalls Park incident was reported to police the following morning.
The suspects were described as black and aged between 14 and 17. Three were riding bikes and one was on foot. They all wore their hoods up and had their faces covered.
Police say they are keen to trace a man who asked the two younger boys if they were OK.
He or anyone else who can help is asked to call 101, quoting crime reference number 5219 137 432 or get in touch with the police online.
The incidents came a few weeks after a 17-year-old was hit over the head with a bottle by muggers who attacked him on Fishponds Road.
Three teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident near Eastville Park.
It happened at around 11.45pm on May 26, within an hour of the end of the Love Saves The Day festival in the park, so the area would have been busier than usual for late on a Sunday night.
During the attack, one of the offenders stole the victim’s phone and went into a nearby shop.
The victim tried to get the phone back but was attacked for a second time inside the shop, hit over the head with a glass bottle and wounded.
Three boys, aged 15, 16 and 17, have been arrested in connection with the incident. The 15-year-old was released on police bail, while the others have been released under investigation.
Avon and Somerset police say one of the people involved in the attack was wearing a distinctive red jacket.
They are calling on anyone who thinks they saw what happened or might have information which could help the inquiry to call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5219 116 993.
In May two muggings of teenage boys by youths on bikes were reported in Downend.
A police spokesperson said: “Officers have noticed a slight increase in robbery in East Bristol over the past few weeks and have been targeting their patrols in response.
“It’s important to report incidents to police straight away if you can. Call 999 if the suspects are still in the area, otherwise ring 101 or report online.”