Worthing and West Sussex delinquent children pictured on police poster

Runaway children are behind a crime wave sweeping communities along the south coast.

The young yobs target shops and train stations, terrorizing staff and the public.

The Argus can show the problem has gotten so bad that a manhunt-style poster has been issued showing the faces of 30 children to watch out for, dubbed West Coast Nominals.

Two of them are brothers Archie and George Tilley, now aged 16 and 15. Their faces are distorted as they were already in prison for the horrific attack on Worthing’s father Alan Willson, who was beaten almost to death in the city’s Longcroft Park last year.

Today, The Argus launches a series of features revealing some of the criminal behaviors that have caused misery from Goring to Hove.

Victims claim that the youth go unpunished – either because they are not caught or, if they are, are released by the courts.

The Argus: A poster created by a British Traffic Cop for Southern Rail employees. Pictured are 30 children known to authorities, dubbedA poster created by a British Traffic Officer for Southern Rail employees. Pictured are 30 children known to authorities, dubbed “West Coast nominals.” George Tilley, left, 15, and Archie Tilley, right, 16, have their 12-year sentences crossed out below

The poster was created after months of criminal behavior by children, including repeated thefts from shops and, more recently, physical assaults. Local residents said youths jumped onto trains along the west coast line and committed crimes in the process.

A British Transport Police (BTP) officer created the poster and presented it to Southern Rail to “support efforts to protect and prevent crime” following continued harassment.

The Tilley brothers’ identities may be released after Judge Christine Henson QC lifted reporting restrictions in July, meaning their identities could be exposed to the public.

Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 automatically restricts the reporting of information which identifies or may identify persons under the age of 18 involved in juvenile court proceedings as victims, witnesses or accused.

This means we cannot reveal the identities of the other 28 children on the poster and have blacked out their faces. Fourteen of them are girls.

The Argus was first alerted to the constant search of shops near Durrington railway station in Goring.

Our month-long investigation uncovered cases of shoplifting, including alcohol, e-cigarettes, a plasterboard saw and spray paint from multiple stores in the area.

It turns out this behavior, along with more serious crimes including possession of a knife, occurs across West Sussex from Goring to Hove.

A man who lives in the Worthing area but wished to remain anonymous told The Argus: “The staff at these shops have come to terms with the behaviour, some people have quit their jobs.

“It’s how the kids move from one store to another with such military precision. They ride these trains for better or for worse.

“The bottom line is that these people in this community have failed. We have the Alan Williams incident, it’s not that old a story.

“I know people who say they don’t go out to walk their dogs anymore. They say their daughter now does it at 8am when the kids aren’t outside.

The Argus: Alan Williamson after his attack. He suffered life-changing injuries, including spinal fractures, lung trauma and broken bonesAlan Williams after his attack. He suffered life-changing injuries, including spinal fractures, lung trauma and broken bones

“Imagine planning your day based on whether or not you could meet these kids.

“There was no police presence. I remember when we had a great PCSO here he was great and talked to everyone.

“In a small community, it’s very special to have a police officer that you know and identify with.”

It’s unclear if the children in the poster are caught up in the spate of juvenile delinquency and violence in the Worthing area.

Following our investigation, BTP deemed its West Coast Nominals poster “inappropriate” and referred it to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the independent agency set up to “uphold information rights in the public interest”.

Referring to youth unrest in the area, Sussex Police Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter, District Commander for Adur and Worthing, said: “We continue to respond to concerns about the anti-social behavior of a small group of young people in and around the village of Worthing.

“We are working closely with our partners including UK Transport Police, youth justice teams and local county and county councils to address these issues which cannot be solved by police alone but instead require an ongoing partnership response.

“I encourage anyone who has a concern about anti-social behavior to get in touch and report it to us online or on 101. We would also like to speak to anyone with relevant video surveillance or witness the conduct to come forward and assist us in our investigation.”

A Southern Rail spokeswoman said: “We are working with the UK Transport Police to assist in the investigation into this matter.”

Tomorrow: Read the story of the heroic salesman confronted by a knife-wielding child

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20672478.worthing-west-sussex-criminal-children-pictured-police-poster/?ref=rss Worthing and West Sussex delinquent children pictured on police poster

Fry Electronics Team

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