Alan Willson’s wife says Worthing is ‘powerless’ to stop juvenile delinquency

PEOPLE in a juvenile delinquency-plagued coastal town are “powerless” to save children from a wave of shoplifting and violence.

Annie Willson, wife of Alan Willson, who was nearly killed in Worthing’s Longcroft Park last year, said she was shocked to hear of a spate of crime in the “sleepy town”.

They range from minor crimes like shoplifting to arson attacks and carrying knives.

It comes after The Argus revealed a police poster was made to help railway staff identify 30 children known to authorities in the area.

Two of the children on the poster were brothers George, 14, and Archie Tilley, 16, who were each sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attack on Mr Willson on April 4 last year.

The Argus: Archie Tilley, left, and brother George TilleyArchie Tilley, left, and brother George Tilley

Ms Willson, 51, wants the justice system to change for the most serious juvenile delinquents following recent crimes.

She said: “I’m shocked it has come to this, a sleepy town like Worthing where all the old people come to retire. We’re all looking over each other’s shoulders now, that’s wrong.

“We’ve all been told to support your local businesses, but those are the ones who are being targeted.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what made children be like this.

“It’s the justice system, it needs to change.

The Argus: Annie and Alan Williamson this summerAnnie and Alan Williamson this summer

“In the Worthing community, people are scared. People are so afraid because they are powerless to do anything.

“You have people who have inherited money and put it into a business, but that business gets trashed. It breaks people’s hearts.”

One such company was Strandways Hardware in Durrington, which revealed it could activate a break clause in its lease and close for good after 45 years on the high street.

Our month-long investigation uncovered a spate of shoplifting, mugging and vandalism along the Worthing line to Hove.

The Argus: Kwik Vape in Tarring Road, Worthing had its window smashed in FebruaryKwik Vape in Tarring Road, Worthing had its window smashed in February

These were carried out in independent shops as well as in supermarkets.

A man who lives in the Worthing area but asked not to be named has called for orders to ban the worst offenders from city centers for “rampant and insane” shoplifting.

One co-op worker, who asked not to be named, said she was so afraid to take the train home after work, one stop away, that she took a taxi to avoid trouble.

One of the most serious incidents was when a 14-year-old boy attacked a Budgens shop worker with a knife on March 7 in Boxgrove, Worthing.

He was fined £22 and ordered into juvenile rehabilitation, meaning he must wear an electronic tag and had a curfew.

The Argus: A boy who attacked a store clerk on March 7thA boy who attacked a store employee on March 7th

Ms Willson added: “Shop workers are paid minimum wage but are at greatest risk. That has to stop.

“The boy who went into the store with a knife, what’s that about?

“Juvenile courts and magistrates have no powers to do such dangerous things. It should go straight to the Crown Court, this kid is dangerous.”

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22564016.wife-alan-willson-says-worthing-powerless-stop-youth-crime/?ref=rss Alan Willson’s wife says Worthing is ‘powerless’ to stop juvenile delinquency

Fry Electronics Team

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