Crime but no punishment after Peterborough stabbing horror

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

The most important story in the PT last week was a non-story. It was the news that no action is being taken against anybody after horrific violence in Peterborough city centre.

Three people were left seriously injured with knife wounds after two gangs clashed.

A trail of blood was left in the city as police descended on four locations – Rivergate, Bridge Street, Wentworth Street and Cowgate.

This was a Tuesday afternoon as shoppers and city centre workers went peacefully about their lawful business.

The police acted quickly and arrested six people - from Peterborough and Wolverhampton.

You can draw your own conclusion why young men from Wolverhampton would be in Peterborough on a chilly Tuesday afternoon in January, but I don’t think it was to have a look round our magnificent cathedral.

The police trotted out one of their favourite cliches saying this was “an isolated incident’’.

That coupled with the fact that arrests had been made and police said they were not looking for anyone else meant we could all sleep peacefully in our beds.

All we had to do was let justice take its course.

Except it hasn’t, with the revelation that no one is to be charged after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence.

I am sure the police are as frustrated as I am, probably even more so. And the CPS has a duty not to waste public money on cases where there is no reasonable chance of success.

But, this is not an acceptable state of affairs.

This was not a minor crime. This was not shoplifting a bottle of shampoo from Savers or a BLT from Marks & Spencer’s sandwich bar.

This was an unlawful rampage with multiple stabbings.

It could easily have been a murder inquiry.

Perhapsthe men arrested over the allegations took the Fifth Amendment making the police’s job difficult.

Or maybe police arrested the wrong men.

But, what about CCTV, or is that expensively obtained and maintained equipment not fit for purpose?

The CPS has also taken the Fifth Amendment and despite repeated requests has not responded to questions the PT has posed about this case.

The unhappy ending to this non-story is that violent criminals, whoever they were, stabbed people in front of shoppers in our city centre, and got away with it.

Match of the day

Football fans are not always the wittiest, but hats off to the London Road faithful who burst into song when Posh fan Anthony Tomlinson popped the question to his partner Yamsin Black on the pitch before the game.

“ You don’t know what you’re doing’’ sang the crowd. It might have been kinder if they’d burst into a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone’’, but nowhere near as funny,

Saved by the bell

It’s a great idea to install public art in Lower Bridge Street but I’m a little bit puzzled by how it all came about.

A sculpture to honour bell-maker Henry Penn will be an integral part, if not the centrepiece, of the £2.1million redevelopment scheme.

Yet when the scheme was announced there was no mention of any sculpture.

And, of course, the scheme had finished several weeks before a sharp-eyed PT hack spotted a planning application for the sculpture and workmen starting digging up a section of the expensive, recently laid paving.

Perhaps the city council just wanted to surprise us,

Diary Of A Bad Dad

I’m not surprised mum-of-three Vicki Decosemo has turned down Peterborough City Council’s offer of schools for her three children after she moved to the city. It would have involved a 32-mile school run with the impossible task of being in three places at the same time. Her children are aged seven, five and four and are obviously far too young to be put on a bus and make their own way there.

At Thornton Towers we find it hard enough to get one child to school on time.In fact we find it a tough ask to get out of the house on a school day. Slow eating, lost shoes, hairstyle debates and unfinished homework all slow down our progress.

The council says “each child’s application is dealt with separately... so it is common for children from the same family to be made offers of different schools.’’

It might be common but it’s totally lacking in common sense.

The council wants to attract people to the city... does that not include parents with children?