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Police find weapon after gang wait for Whitchurch pupils

Whitchurch High School (Lower School).

POLICE were called to a “disturbance” in Whitchurch Village involving a large group of young people allegedly carrying dangerous weapons and looking to confront school pupils.

The group appeared to be waiting to confront pupils from Whitchurch High School when they finished their studies at the end of the school day on Friday.

Witnesses said that some of the group were armed and carrying weapons including a claw hammer and a hatchet, as they waited near the Lower School site on Glan-Y-Nant Terrace.

Staff from the school and members of the public intervened and managed to disperse the group before anyone was hurt.

South Wales Police later recovered a “small handheld axe” from the roof of a shed near where the incident took place.

Inspector Debbie Brown, from Fairwater Police Station, said: “We urge parents to speak to their children about the dangers of carrying weapons.”

Two teenage boys, aged 13 and 14 from Whitchurch High School, have been identified by police as potential targets. Both boys are safe.

The group of over a dozen young people who were waiting for them were not from Whitchurch High School or wearing any school uniform, according to staff and eyewitnesses.

The incident took place at the end of the school day on Friday (Jan 19) “in and around the Warren Evans Court area,” according to a South Wales Police spokeswoman.

The area around Warren Evans Court, where the incident took place.

Police are still attempting to identify all those responsible and establish the circumstances that led to the incident.

“Clearly this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and it is fortunate that no-one was hurt,” said Insp Brown.

In a joint statement Huw Jones-Williams, Headteacher, and Joyce Slack, Chair of Governors, sought to reassure worried parents, teachers and children:

“Police and Whitchurch High School are working in close partnership to ensure the safety of all,” they said.

Residents have expressed concerns about violent behaviour near the school in the past.  

Pamela Coombes, community coordinator for Pendwyallt Road, was in a taxi with her elderly mother last year when it had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting a group of children fighting outside the school entrance. She reported the incident to police and the school at the time, who both acted swiftly to address the matter.

“Perhaps better security measures need to be addressed – especially near access and exits to school premises,” said Ms Coombes.

There will be an increased police presence in the village. A South Wales Police spokeswoman confirmed that there would be “more patrols at the beginning and end of the school day” to provide reassurance.

“The last thing we want is to be knocking on a parent’s door delivering bad news that their son or daughter has been hurt or arrested for causing an injury,” said Insp Brown.

There have been no further developments or arrests so far in relation to the incident.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number *022856.

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