Residents in a Sheffield community today pleaded for help so ‘they are safe to walk the streets’.
People living in Page Hall, plagued by community tensions, urged police to take action after violence flared.
Up to 30 men were involved in a mass brawl as local residents watched in terror. They claim groups of Roma Slovak and Yemeni people were involved.
Page Hall resident Paul Downend said: “Members of the existing community are quite frankly frightened at the swiftness of how the situation became inflamed.
“The council and government agencies need to be aware of the truth of the cancer spreading through Page Hall, and how the decent residents of this troubled district need assurance they are safe to walk the streets.
“With the summer and lighter evenings approaching, it is feared only more trouble is going to happen.
“Residents of Page Hall need help, and now.”
Police and paramedics arrived at the scene of the brawl to find a 17-year-old boy with a broken arm.
Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett said police must take decisive action.
He said: “We were all very apprehensive about the emergence of the long, warmer nights, and recognised this was going to be a moment of pressure.
“The police have devoted sufficient manpower and expertise, but what is required is a clear, visible presence in the evening, so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind about the determination to clamp down on any kind of unacceptable behaviour.
“It’s fine having the numbers but they have to be there at the right time. Those who perpetrate unacceptable behaviour need to understand the police mean business.”
Mr Blunkett added: “The police are dealing with the symptoms. We as a community collectively have to deal with the causes and that includes a very clear message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The cause of the problem is people believing they can behave in this fashion.”
Mr Blunkett said a ‘coordinated command structure’ was in place, agreed by various agencies, but he said it was no good if it did not work in the evenings and at night.
He added: “To the people living there now, the message is, ‘You are not forgotten, people do care’.”
Coun Ibrar Hussain, councillor for the area, said: “There are massive issues in the area but we are doing everything we can to help resolve them. We are calling for calm. There are issues of concern because of the weather and people on the streets.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Reports were made at around 7.10pm on Monday of two groups of 25 men fighting in Page Hall Road, with a large number of people out as bystanders. Officers attended and issued a Section 60 Order, in operation from 8pm until 8am on Tuesday, in and around Page Hall Road, Popple Street, Barnsley Road and Earl Marshal Road. The order allows officers to stop, search and disperse anyone in the area if they believe they may go on to be involved in serious violence.”