Gang of youths targets Sidmouth seafront businesses

PUBLISHED: 13:08 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08 16 August 2018

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports

Archant

A watersports business owner and food outlet trader have expressed their concern after claiming to witness recent distrurbances by young people.

Simon and Sue Althorpe of The Crepe EscapeSimon and Sue Althorpe of The Crepe Escape

Staff at Jurassic Water Sports claim seeing four teenagers rummaging through the business’ beach storage shed, which is located on the western end of the beach.

It is claimed the youths were also seen putting some of the wetsuits on to the promenade above. A man and a woman were reportedly with them.

Jurassic Paddle Sports is owned by senior coxswain for the lifeboat, Guy Russell, who was busy with customers down at the water’s edge.

Livi Mclennan, 21, who was nearby, with staff member Jack Gregorious, 18, said: “They were quite small but stocky, all of them, and they just looked rough.”

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle SportsMaddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports

Jack intervened to stop them and they started to ‘get a bit aggressive’.

“I thought it could kick off but I was quite confident that Jack would not let that happen and Guy was nearby at the waterfont,” she said.

It’s not believed the group got away with any equipment.

Guy said: “They dealt with it brilliantly. Jack is a big lad but he is so mellow. We take great pride in being family-friendly, easy-going and trusting.

“In six years of running this business, I don’t think I’ve had anything taken.

“We had a lot of support from people offering to lend wetsuits.

“It felt like we were part of a nice caring, supportive community where we look after each other.”

In a separate incident, Simon and Sue Althorpe, from Seaton, who had The Crepe Escape by the car park for FolkWeek, were also alledgedly targeted.

The youths ordered doughnuts but got into a dispute over payment, it is claimed. One of them then made a rude gesture and another threatened: ‘you’re going to get what’s coming to you’.

“I felt shocked and shaken up,” said Sue, who added this was the first time they’d ever had trouble.

Simon said: “It was such a fabulous festival, it just takes the edge off it.”

The storeholders paid for additional security as a result.

In unrelated incidents a Caribbean food tent was slashed with a knife and a cake decoration in another tent was smashed and an A-board and jam was taken.

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