Group ‘attacked by 20-strong gang’ after a beach clean on Viking Bay in Broadstairs

The group of volunteers had been sat near the pier when the attack happened. Credit: Google Street View

A group of Folk Week volunteers having a barbecue and beach clean were set upon by 20 youngsters on Viking Bay last night (Saturday).

One woman was left needing her head glued together, while another suffered bruising to her eye.

Sarah Barnett, one of the people attacked, says they had been sitting listening to music and chatting just before it happened around 10.30pm on the Broadstairs beach.

“Our friend told these lads to stop tearing up some boats that were moored in the harbour and the next thing we know they all descended on us,” she said.

“There were about 20 of these children – and they were children, they could only have been 14, no more than 16.”

The 34-year-old teacher from Broadstairs says she was knocked to the floor and three boys and a girl got on top of her, leaving her with a swollen, bloodshot eye.

Another suffered a head injury.

“She either got hit with a rock or fell on a rock when someone punched her so she had her head glued together,” said Miss Barnett.

“I couldn’t believe it. We grew up round here, we used to mess about as teenagers but we didn’t cause any trouble.

“It’s weird as we’ve never been involved in something like this. A bunch of 30-year-olds hanging out and this happens.”

Video footage

One of the victims managed to get video footage of the group, some of who were on mopeds.

Miss Barnett added: “They were shouting ‘this isn’t the end’. It’s really pathetic.

“I didn’t hear it, but my friend said they were calling themselves the B Town Boys.

“Apparently they’ve been tagging Callis Court Road and Reading Street.”

A police spokesman said officers were called at 10.50pm to a report of a disturbance involving a number of people in the beach area of Harbour Street in Broadstairs.

“Four people reported they were assaulted,” she said.

“Officers attended the scene and enquiries are ongoing.”



  1. We need MORE POLICE and deterrants that work from the courts.
    These ignoramouses have the attitude that they are untouchable now, so it is about time we showed them otherwise.
    This is becoming a regular occurrence in many towns and cities and has to be halted, firmly and swiftly.
    It is now beyond a mere nuisance.

    • Something very similar happens in Teignmouth Devon where their latest attack from a gang of out of control youngsters beat up elderly people playing bowls, and again no police about so no deterrant.

  2. Absolutely disgusting ! but as there are no police about this sort of behavior will become the norm ,get rid of the civil enforcement
    officers who walk around like BIG BROTHER and maybe we could
    have more propped coppers.

  3. These teenagers are terrorising folk throughout the island on their bikes and mopeds doing wheelies along long stretches of road weaving in and out of traffic causing it to slow or stop. Sticking fingers up at anyone who should sound their horn at them. They are a nuisance and anti-social to say the least, a damned danger to themselves and others. Feral is the only term usable without upsetting the parents too much. These kids know they are invincible because they have no fear of the invisable presence of the law in Thanet. The police do seem to be inept at stopping youth anti-social behaviours and violent crimes in Thanet. It is not such a problem in other areas of East Kent as police are more on top of these situations I am told.

  4. This highlights the fact that there are NO police based in Broadstairs. It is matter of some importance and urgency that Kent County Council needs to address. It gives the impression to the inhabitants of Thanet, that the safety of people in the Isle and of visitors to the Isle is at the bottom of KCC’s priorities. One only has to read the serious assaults in the three main Thanet towns which this newspaper has published in the last few weeks

  5. I can only agree that the lack of a visible Police presence is a major factor in this kind of violence. We now have over 20,000 fewer Police Officers than ten years ago. But why call on the Police themselves to do more, when they are so understaffed? And why complain that Kent County Council should , somehow, improve this situation by changing priorities when KCC is also underfunded . My only criticism of KCC is that the majority Tory Party councillors won’t really fight for Kent as their own Party runs the government and they have a firm, unchanging belief in austerity, cut backs in public spending and giving any money saved to the well-off in tax reductions.
    If we want an improvement in Police numbers we have to actually vote a DIFFERENT PARTY into government. Unfortunately, too many Kent residents are happy to bewail the deterioration in the resources available to the county but then carry on as usual and vote Conservative. And then despair that nothing seems to get any better!

    • Of course voting in a Labour government is an absolute imperative , but KCC Councillors should also be pressing the Council to change its priorities. KCC should also be hammering on the doors of the Home Secretary and Prime Minister, and continually to raise the subject with Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson – as should their contacts in the media
      Too often ‘it’s not fault’ is the refrain , when pressure could be exerted

    • Brexit Party will sort it out. There are no other parties. Had the same 2 parties for near on 100 yrs and they do not care about the voters anymore than they do their own party. Time for a change.

      • And how, exactly, will the Brexit Party help with this particular problem? Their reason for existence is to take us out of Europe, come he’ll or high water, by 31 October.
        So what will be the point of them on 1st November?

  6. These idiots know the police are powerless to stop them, community punishments are no deterrent. Apologising to your victim is not a punishment, its not a deterrent it’s an example iof failed social justice and weaker sentancing by our liberal justice system. These feral ikids know that they are untouchable and routinely laugh in the face of the police.

    You could have an extra million police on the streets but if they are still emasculated by social justice and lack of deterrents they still would be able to do anything to stop this scum.

    The parents of these feral kids know exactly what their children are up to, perhaps the parents should be made accountable for their children’s complete lack of discipline.

    The apologists will be out in force claiming these kids come from troubled homes and it’s not their fault, but it is their fault, the sofly approach to law enforcement has given scum an excuse for their crimes.

    Remember, This thuggish behaviour by underage kids is happening all over the UK, not just Thanet. In London its gang crime with the daily stabbings and murders, up North its the targeted assault on the emergency services trying to perform their jobs.

    The breakdown of society is only going to get worse all the while the police have their hands tied together by red tape and a justice system hell bent on protecting the human rights of the criminals and not the victims of crime.

    • Absolutely correct, as a kid if i did wrong a smack round the ear from a copper or dad taught me values these scum wouldn’t even dream of, why let them get away with it?police can’t or won’t do anything so why not us?

      • “Why not us?” Because this country should not regress to a vigilante state. Reading comments here and on Kent Online shows that there are many people locally who, so they say,are only too ready to inflict violence on other people in what they think of as a just punishment. But if you’re not happy with the justice system, rough justice is not the way forward. How can more violence make things better?

    • If the government have lost control of these feral kids and the parents have no control , how about groups of vigilantys in groups of 3 or 4 men,if they see these things happening, grab the kids,take em round the corner and give a bloody good beating, Might knock some sence into them , ive got 3 sons and not 1 incident with them,cos they know what to have expected from me, they have grown into respect for others,1 is a sales rep,the other is a carer and the 3rd one is in security.

  7. Get rid of Carter at KCC he isn’t interested in Thanet remember them saying that it is the anus of Kent. and remember what Labour was like in TDC better off with Conservative. Also we have Police but they children don’t have legs nor do Police you only ever see them zooming past you in a car not always with lights flashing. I actually saw one the other day with a pointed helmet on walking up Margate High Street. I said goodness a real Policeman he laughed and said your right there.

    • Better off under the Conservatives? You’re having a laugh!
      Under the Tories: homelessness is up; zero hours contracts are up; food bank usage is up; poverty is up; wages of the very rich are up.
      Under the Tories real term funding for schools is down; the Stroke unit at QEQM is closing; bus routes in Kent are being slashed.
      Under the Tories we’ve got an extremely expensive aircraft carrier with no planes, whilst the size of our army has been cut so much that it is no longer classed as an army but a defence force.
      Better off under the Tories? Jacob Rees-Mogg might be, but the rest of us?
      I don’t think so.

      • And let’s not forget that funding for the police has also been cut under the Tories. And that the probation service was so disastrously outsourced to the private sector that they’ve had to reationalize it.
        Both factors that impact on crime and crime prevention.

  8. These scumbags need a good hiding, we are sick of the growing groups of total yobs who because of softly softly of the courts schools and manly parents these kids think they are gangsters. What is the Kent Crime Commissioner doing about this ? He earns good money for what???? There should be a curfew on all kids under 17 should not be allowed on the streets after 7 pm. It works in some of the states in thE USA It will work here. It’s only a matter of time before the public take the law into their own hands if this behaviour is not stamped on.

  9. We the inhabitants of Kent should make our anger about the increasing crime and diminished police resources in the county to ALL the Kent MPs so that they realise that their tenure is seriously threatened by their lack of action in conveying our views to the government. When do we ever hear of them talking forcefully publically to the people in whose hands decisions rest

  10. The trouble is as these were kids you can bet the police and the law would come after you for hitting/defending yourself against these kids…..

  11. A key figure is Matthew Scott of Swanley, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner to whom the Chief Constable has to report on the application of the county’s police and crime plan. set by Mr Scott
    Mr Scott, I do not joke, is also the Portfolio holder for Performance in the National Association for Police and Commissioners. He is of course a Tory.

    • Has my comment been moderated? It is information that all your readers should know – and it is in the public domain

    • It would be a different problem. Instead of spitting at people, swearing and chucking the occasional stone, there would be bullets flying from semi-automatic weapons.

    • The murder rate in America is insanely high. Thank goodness we don’t have the attitude to guns here that they have there.

  12. This has been building up for years. Feral children on mopeds, drug dealing being carried out in public with impunity, gangs of children roaming the streets swearing and spitting. Gangs hanging about in the parks intimidating people, vandalism and graffiti all reported to the police and local council but nothing followed up. We need a visible police presence with the power to deal with these little thugs. It will only get worse.

  13. So one idea out of this a curfew but like I said if they abscond.
    Kids don’t ride bikes young people do.
    Parents should do more for their children.
    More police more council tax would need to be paid
    Asbo’s need to be implemented
    Crime is in any town.
    Young people and adults despise the police
    A crime is a crime
    Are you all going to be going round with baseball bat’s some very angry residents. Have a residents meeting
    Contact your councillors
    Contact your MP
    Contact your CEO of council

  14. All this understandable anger! But we have had a Tory government for ten years and they always get elected by promising more “law and order”, tougher sentences, “no excuses, crack down on the yobs” etc etc Sometimes they actually deliver. I mean, sentences ARE getting longer. But the one REAL deterrent is not the nature of the sentence but the high risk of getting caught! If they don’t expect to get caught, they will take the risk.
    There’s no point in blaming anybody else. The Tory government controls the law and the purse strings.Why demand a “law and order” government? We’ve already got one!

    • Anyone who blames the government for youth crime and antisocial behaviour is denying the truth. The government is not responsible for parenting, that’s the parents job and unfortunately too many people have kids and let them do what they want when they want because they dont see them as children but as their mate. Go back 30 years and parents never treated their kids as mates, nowadays they dont want to tell their kids of for fear of upsetting them, its pathetic and is responsible for the breakdown of authority.
      I heard a 6 year old kid calling his mum a bitch today several times and rather than telling the child off the whole family just laughed and encouraged it.
      Poor parenting is the reason a child turns bad. Its time parents took responsibility for their kids and stopped blaming everyone else for their woeful parenting.

  15. How can it be a parent’s fault if the child of 12 is locked up in his room with windows locked he gets out rides a moped around deals in drugs and is still threatening adults with knives. 12 years old in thanet doing this the people who reported him to the police were beaten up courts gave him a slapped wrist he has a curfew but still he gets away with it his best mate is his supplier 19 years old only way to stop him his prison on Saturday night /Sunday morning another 2 women were attacked in Cliftonville as Martin and others have said their is a lack of police in thanet but its like this throughout the country. They say we are not allowed to hit our children we are but only in a certain way but you know kids of 8 say you can’t hit me or I’ll tell the police if you do kids get mates to give them a black eye and say you did it they are all street wise by 8 now if you see a well behaved teenager cherish it as there is not many left. Its so so sad the way the youth of today are going /gone. Look at the amount of crime in thanet in the last 6 weeks reported in the Isle of thanet news and the other local on line paper. We all need to email our MPs and police commissioner I will this week for sure.

    • On Saturday I went to the Armed Forces Day Parade in Ramsgate. There I saw 50 or so smartly turned out youngsters. Members of the Sea Cadets and the Scouts.
      Almost all the teenagers in Thanet are reasonable children. If it was otherwise, there wouldn’t be a dozen or two of ‘feral ‘scull roaming our streets, there would be 1000’s.
      And clearly, there aren’t.

    • I think Big Chris is exaggerating here. Especially when he says that children “are all street-wise by 8 now.”

  16. How little many of you understand the issues you are talking about amazes me. Do you want to know what one of the biggest drivers of crime of any kind is? Poverty, and do you know who promotes making the poor poorer and the rich richer. Well that would be the Conservatives. For over a decade they have been saying about how the national debt is reducing, jobs are more plentiful than ever before. There is a place for criminal punishments in any society but research shows that punishment alone, does nothing to reduce crime and in fact often increases it.

    How ironic you demand criminal punishments for children, but I don’t hear the same demands for those who are actually making the decisions that have led to these very situations.

    • Jay Smith is right. The correlation between deprivation and crime is undeniable, and the Tories have a lot to answer for here. I’m surprised that Kent is still a Tory stronghold .

  17. Jay agreed poverty doesn’t help one bit as these youngsters see the older ones with lots of money and stuff of course they get hooked up on the fact that they only have to sell a few drugs then they get in deeper into the violent side of their world and of course it escalates. Its not just one thing but a mixture of the to.

  18. I know the young people who are involved in this life and many of them Have been kicked out of school and the government has given up on them.They have nothing, no qualifications to get a job and street life is the only way out of it.If the government would have helped them in the first place then we would not be in this situation. However, I have heard another side of this story and it’s not always black and white,there’s two sides to every story don’t be so quick as to blame the kids.

    • Erm, if someone assaults me, I blame them! There might be all sorts of mitigating socio-economic factors which might or might not be relevant. But if someone is attacking me, I’m not going to read their probation officer’s report before defending myself using appropriate force.

  19. Thanks to Chris Grayling you would be lucky to get a Probation Officer’s report. Probation has been outsourced and is failing

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