Foreign students attacked in Sidmouth

VIOLENT assaults on foreign students have escalated after two teenagers were the victims of unprovoked attacks last week. There have been at least three assaults on Sidmouth International School (SIC) students this summer- following last year s worrying t

VIOLENT assaults on foreign students have escalated after two teenagers were the victims of unprovoked attacks last week.

There have been at least three assaults on Sidmouth International School (SIC) students this summer- following last year's worrying trend when several foreign youngsters were subjected to verbal and physical abuse.

Darrell Dumenil, managing director and owner of SIC, said police resources are too stretched.

He added: "We reported the incident to the local police station but it was four hours before the police telephoned us back, telling us they only had one police officer and he was currently out of town. It was 36 hours before the boys were interviewed, and over 48 hours before our other students who may have witnessed the event were interviewed. The local police are clearly under strength and need more support."


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However Sidmouth Police Sergeant Andy Turner said incidents in the town involving foreign students has been exceptionally low this year and believes this is partly due to a boost in officers.

He added: "There are always times when we are low on numbers but at the moment we have got more police officers than we had last year by a long way."

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Sergeant Turner also said the close relationship police have with the school has helped combat the problem and a youth intervention officer visits the school on a weekly basis.

But Mr Dumenil fears even one attack will have a detrimental effect on the school's reputation.

He said: "All the 200 plus students at the school will return home and report the attack and this will affect our business. Following attacks over the last two summers we can no longer market Sidmouth as a safe destination."

Investigations are continuing into a robbery and assault last week which both occurred on Monday, August 24 in the Byes between 10pm and 11pm.

A 16-year-old foreign boy had his Portable PlayStation stolen by one offender and his nose broken after he was punched by a second person.

The first person is described as male, white, shorter than 5' 8" and had blond spiky hair. He was wearing a grey hooded jacket and jeans.

The second offender is described as male, white, around 5'8" and had short hair.

Another 16-year-old foreign boy was also assaulted by a person who is described as male, white and had blond hair. He was wearing a grey jacket.

* Police are appealing for witnesses. If you have information about the robbery or assault ring police on 08452 777444 quoting crime numbers KS/09/510 or KS/09/511.

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