Two secondary schools have pledged to work with police and other agencies following an incident which resulted in the arrest of 13 teenagers.
Eight youngsters were held last Thursday after an alleged assault on two boys in Keighley the previous afternoon. A further five teenagers from various parts of Keighley were arrested yesterday, also on suspicion of assault. The five, aged 13 to 16, were being held in custody as the Keighley News went to press.
The original eight had been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Two boys aged 15 and 16 were taken to hospital following the 3.15pm incident last Wednesday on Spring Gardens Lane.
At that time each day the lane is busy with hundreds of students walking home from Holy Family School and University Academy Keighley (UAK).
School leaders said they were working together after the incident to reassure parents and children of their safety.
Holy Family bosses held a meeting for parents on Friday following claims that students had been repeatedly threatened by UAK students on their way home.
A police spokesman said that in last Wednesday’s incident two boys were approached by a group of teenagers who subjected them to an assault. He said: “The two victims were taken to hospital after sustaining cuts and bruising.”
Six of the suspects subsequently arrested on suspicion of assault were aged 15, one was 14 and one was 13.
On Friday a joint statement was issued by UAK and Holy Family School saying they had held discussions with staff and parents and would work with police and other agencies. Holy Family head Lawrence Bentley said: “It is deeply regrettable that two boys from our school have been assaulted.
“Holy Family is a safe and orderly school and we do all we can ensure the safety of our pupils on their journey to and from school. We will review our approaches.”
Gareth Dawkins and Linda Wallsgrove, the executive leadership team at UAK, said: “It would appear that the actions of a very small group of young people have affected the safety and positive relationships that exist between young people in our community.
“It is extremely difficult to understand why this should have happened and we will do everything we can to prevent any similar such events in the future.”
Any witnesses to last Wednesday’s incident, or with information about it, should contact the police non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.