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25 May 2010, 11:05
An independant review will look at whether more could have been done by authorities in Poole to prevent three boys killing a homeless man.
15 year old Jimmy Ayres, Warren Crago and Craig Real, both 17, were found guilty last Friday of the manslaughter of Big Issue seller Ralph Millward.
Poole Council has admitted that all three were known to them before the attack in Westbourne last year.
John McBride, Chief Executive, Borough of Poole, said:
“We are shocked and appalled by this horrific crime. Mr Millward was a respected and much loved member of his community and our sympathies are with his family and everyone who knew him well.
“This was a particularly brutal crime committed by three youths apparently acting under the influence of alcohol. All three were known to the authorities and all had difficult and particularly challenging backgrounds.
“Now the trial has concluded, it is important for all local agencies to review the actions taken in relation to these three individuals and to consider whether we could have done anymore.
“The council sees this as a priority and is taking immediate action to commission an independent review to look into how it and other local agencies engaged with these young people and their families. The public can be assured that any lessons learned will be acted upon.
“Overall, Poole is a safe place to live and the crimes of which these three youths have been found guilty are thankfully very rare in our community.
“We acknowledge that anti-social behaviour remains a real concern for some people living in the community, but there have been many positive changes over the last year on the estate. The council and Dorset Police are working together to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime, targeting the behaviour of the most persistent offenders and making effective use of the full range of the legal powers available, such as Section 30 dispersal orders and ASBOs. There has also been an increase in visible policing on the estate. As a result, reports of anti-social behaviour have reduced by 30 per cent in recent months.
“Furthermore, it is important to remember that the senseless actions of three youths are not a true reflection of young people on this estate or in Poole. The vast majority of young people in our town make a very positive contribution to their local communities.”
Residents and businesses are being urged to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to the police or the council. People can report anti-social behaviour by contacting:
- Dorset Police on: 01202 222 222.
Visit: Your local police station at Wimborne Road or Gravel Hill, or see www.dorset.police.uk
- Borough of Poole’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team: 01202 633483 or 633494
Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org