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Group say they no longer feel safe in resort

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: April 24, 2013

By Steve Creswell

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A GROUP of at least ten Eastern European men and women have said they do not feel safe in Newquay after one of them was viciously assaulted in the street.

But police have moved to reassure them that they are conducting a thorough investigation and will monitor and protect all victims of crime.

A member of the group, a 30-year-old man, was sitting alone in his car at 8.30pm on March 5 when he was attacked by three men at the junction of Trevose Avenue and Tower Road.

He was beaten with a metal bar, leaving him needing stitches in his leg and head. A gun was later recovered nearby, prompting armed police officers to swoop on the area.

At the time, Inspector Dave Meredith was quick to play down the seriousness of the incident, saying gun crime was very rare in the resort.

But one Polish man told the Cornish Guardian that he and his friends – including the assault victim – were now afraid to leave their homes.

Group members have asked to remain anonymous, for fear of repercussions, and the source would only speak to our reporter face-to-face in a secluded location.

It was reported last week that two men, aged 34 and 33, had been arrested in connection with the assault, but were released on police bail "pending further inquiries".

Speaking on behalf of the group, the source said: "We don't feel safe any more.

"It's affecting at least ten of us.

"We've told the police everything we know and they've done nothing.

"One of my friends says he now carries a knife on him because he doesn't trust the police to protect him. He even said that to the police officer."

Police have still not yet confirmed if the gun retrieved at the scene is real or fake.

Mr Meredith said: "This is a continuing protracted police investigation. The welfare of all victims and witnesses is subject to regular review by the police. If people … have genuine concerns over their safety, they are advised to contact the police as soon as possible."

Our source claimed the incident had sparked resentment against the Eastern European community in the town. "After Tower Road people have been saying bad things about foreigners, saying we've come here to cause trouble," he said. "But I've worked here for nine years and I try to be good to everyone. This is giving us a bad name and it wasn't our fault. People are starting to hate us."

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