Sussex Police are reassuring parents that tackling youth violence is a priority, after five children were arrested in connection with a suspected stabbing in Worthing.
A 13-year-old boy remains in hospital following the incident in Chapel Road, close to Liverpool Road at around 4:45pm on Sunday. (13 March)
Police say the boy sustained wounds to his torso, which are not life threatening.
Pictures from the scene on Sunday show armed officers around Montague Place close to the McDonalds restaurant.
Officers have carried out searches of the area, and used the police drone in Liverpool Gardens as part of their investigation.
Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter, District Commander for Adur and Worthing, said: “As a parent and mother, I completely understand why the local community are so concerned by yesterday’s incident.
“While we are treating this as an isolated incident, I am well aware of the recent reports of youth violence, antisocial behaviour and criminal damage in the Worthing area.
“The behaviour we have seen amongst a small minority of young people in the community is deeply concerning, but tackling youth violence remains my priority, and my team and I will retain our robust approach to how we tackle this completely unacceptable behaviour and ensure those committing these acts are held to account for their actions.
“I would however ask, that people do not speculate or share names of young people across social media channels because this can severely hinder our investigation.
“Where people have witnessed or captured the incident on CCTV or mobile phone, I would urge you to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 874 of 13/03.
“Whilst the investigation continues, there will be a continued high visibility police presence in and around Worthing town centre over the coming days.
“Rest assured, we will continue to work in partnership with other agencies and the local community to reduce violence amongst young people.”
Three boys from Worthing, aged 12, 14, and 15, were arrested on suspicion of committing grievous bodily harm with intent.
A 14-year-old boy from Littlehampton was arrested on suspicion of committing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon (a knife) in public.
A 13-year-old boy from Littlehampton was arrested on suspicion of attempted wounding with intent.
Police are continuing to question all five boys.