SHOPS around train stations in coastal towns are being looted by roving children.
Youths are said to have used the Worthing Line and, with “military precision”, attacked nearby businesses, jumped off trains and went to businesses to commit crimes.
Southern Rail has endured a spate of anti-social behavior between Goring and Hove station for several months.
The Argus can uncover an onslaught of crime committed in and around stations along the Worthing line.
It ranged from the theft of groceries to crates of cider and cigarettes to an arson attack at a platform cafe at Worthing Station in the early hours of June 13.
The juvenile delinquency wave has gotten so bad in the area that Britain’s Transport Police have created a poster featuring 30 notorious boys and girls to help Southern Rail staff in “protection and crime prevention efforts”.
In one case, Sussex Police made a public appeal to identify four girls who were caught by CCTV stealing cigarettes and pastries from a Tesco in Denmark Villas 100 meters from Hove Station on July 18.
The damning footage shows girls ransacking the store, taking turns stealing cigarettes while the clerks look on helplessly.
They were identified the same day the police appealed and the video was removed.
The shoplifting investigation by Sussex Police has been ongoing since August 23.
No arrests were made.
Officials believe the incident at the Hove Tesco is linked to another theft at the Co-op store Field Place Parade, Goring, at 5.45pm on June 14.
We revealed yesterday how the store has been ravaged by shoplifting, with one customer claiming to have witnessed at least eight separate incidents.
The Worthing Line is used by children to commit their crimes in nearby businesses.
Simon Lawrence, owner of Kwik Vape in Tarring Road, Worthing, was threatened with stabbing in February. A 14-year-old boy was arrested according to the reports.
The shopkeeper, 46, also says he was spat on and the front window of his shop was smashed with a metal bar.
The Worthing boy has been released amid inquiries as investigations into these alleged offenses continue.
Sussex Police have now confirmed he has been charged with two counts of assault and one of criminal damage. He is scheduled to appear in court on December 12.
On July 15, children reportedly got off a train at Durrington station before walking 200 meters to the Co-op in Field Place Parade, Goring, and allegedly stole crates of Strongbow darkfruits in broad daylight.
The investigation into this incident was launched due to “insufficient evidence”.
On July 19, Sussex Police were given a report of verbal abuse near the same train station before items were stolen from the same co-op.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing.
Two girls, aged 14 and 12, were arrested by UK Transport Police in connection with an arson attack at Worthing railway station on 13 June.
At around 5 a.m., a bookshelf in the waiting room outside Puccino’s cafe at the train station was set on fire.
It did “significant damage” and left the cafe closed to this day.
The two girls were released pending further investigation.
Britain’s Transport Police have also stepped up patrols at train stations in the Worthing area after experiencing “increasing anti-social behavior by young people”.
When asked by The Argus, the force could not confirm when patrols began in response to the increase in anti-social behavior from youth, adding that there “is no specific date for these patrols to begin”.
UK Transport Police Inspector Jaz Savage said: “In response to an increase in incidents of anti-social behavior among young people in West Sussex, we have increased patrols on trains and at key stations in the region.
“Tackling this problem requires a multi-agency approach and as such we are working closely with our partners at the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Sussex Police to jointly respond to this type of crime.
“Our message is that no one has to put up with antisocial behavior. Everyone has the right to travel in peace and safety and we encourage anyone experiencing anything that threatens this to report it by texting us on 61016.”
A Southern Rail spokesman said: “We are passionate about the safety of our staff and passengers and are working with police, schools and social services to address youth unrest issues in the area.
“We know from other organizations that this is part of a broader community issue; the behavior of this group of people is witnessed across West Sussex.
“With cases of this nature involving young people who are potentially vulnerable, we recognize that this is a complex situation and we continue to work together across multiple agencies to support their efforts and protect our colleagues. ”
On Tuesday we revealed that British Transport Police (BTP) made a poster of 30 children that was put up in Southern Rail offices.
It includes mugshots of 30 convicted children, including Archie and George Tilley, who crushed Alan Willson’s skull and left the 47-year-old with permanent brain damage after beating him with logs in Longcroft Park, Worthing last year.
The purpose of the poster was to support “protective measures and crime prevention efforts” following persistent child molestation.
BTP itself referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Yesterday we revealed how a Co-op store in Durrington was looted and staff attacked.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20612687.children-committing-crime-around-worthing-railway-line/?ref=rss Children commit crimes in and around the Worthing railway line