Stratford business owner slams police delay after alleged knife chase - The Leamington Observer

Stratford business owner slams police delay after alleged knife chase

POLICING in Stratford is “extremely neglected” and the town does not feel safe according to a restaurant owner who sheltered two teenagers from an alleged knife attack.

Christian Porzio, the owner of Corte Campana in Bell Court, claimed officers took 25 minutes to attend his call to say two teenage boys were hiding in his restaurant after being chased through town by a balaclava-wearing gang reportedly armed with a knife.

According to Mr Porzio, the two boys rushed into the restaurant and hid behind the oven looking “afraid and shaky” at around 3.55pm on June 1.

He continued: “Despite some initial confusion from my staff, the team immediately worked out what was going on. According to the boys, they were chased by another group of balaclava gang kids through town and into Bell Court. The chasers were armed with knives and, as per boys’ voices ‘they were chasing to stab’.”




Mr Porzio said that the chasers ended up watching the restaurant from a distance in the hope the two boys would leave the premises.

He added: “Our team handled it very well and ensured that the boys wouldn’t be released until the arrival of the police, a staggering 25 minutes later, on a half-term, on a Saturday, with thousands and thousands of visitors in town.


“I would like to thank Sergio, Camillo, Giacomo and Cormac for handling this whole event with calm and high professionalism, guaranteeing the safety of the boys. Policing in Stratford is extremely neglected and as a business owner I am here to express my disappointment. Stratford does not feel safe.”

Warwickshire Police defended their conduct during this incident saying they attended the scene in 14 minutes – well within the standard time – and they carried out a stop and search on the identified suspects and no weapons were found.

An official police statement continued: “At 4pm on Saturday June 1, officers were called to a report of two teenage boys running into a restaurant on Bell Court in Stratford to hide from a group of males in masks who they alleged had threatened violence against them.

“They had allegedly been approached while walking near the river, where the suspects had called out asking them to hand over their valuables before reportedly chasing them down High Street as they ran away.

“The two males at the front of the group were described as one white male with a grey hoodie, black jacket, and black joggers, and one male with a white-zipped black puffer jacket, black trousers, and a medical mask.

“If you were a witness to this incident, if you have CCTV or other video footage, or can otherwise help with our investigation, contact us citing Incident 222 of 1 June.”

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