Top cop hits out at 'hoodie scum' letter

A HIGH-ranking South Yorkshire police officer today slammed a man for branding youths "hoodie scum" after his partner was allegedly attacked by a large gang.

Monday, 3rd September 2007, 8:06 am

The 32-year-old woman was apparently surrounded by a baying gang of hooded thugs who ambushed her, trapping her in her car on a Rotherham estate.

They then allegedly threw heavy traffic cones at her vehicle before she managed to drive away and make a phone call to her mother, who alerted police.

The woman's partner, Alistair Oram, claims she is now too traumatised to go out.

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Police attended the scene shortly afterwards and examined CCTV images, but the footage was inconclusive. Police did report traffic cones in Green Arbour Road shortly after the incident.

But the victim's partner, unhappy with the police response, wrote a blistering letter of complaint to Chief Constable Med Hughes blasting the offenders "hoodie scum".

Today Rotherham's superintendent Keith Lumley hit out at the emotive language in the letter and said: "I don't think you can brand all youths who wear hoodies as 'scum'.

"If this incident happened as Mr Oram says I would certainly say these people were mindless and I would be upset if I was him.

"But his letter seems to brand all youths 'hoodie scum' and this is simply not the case. If anything, it makes the problem worse.

"We have not had a formal complaint from the lady victim involved, despite trying to contact her by telephone several times. All we have is this third party letter to go on.

"Something did happen but all we know is that traffic cones were found in the road. We urge her to come forward and make a statement about the incident.

"Mr Oram claimed we didn't respond for 10 days, but that is wrong because we were out there afterwards. He also got the date and time of the incident wrong in his letter.

"There are a lot of generalisations about youths being 'hoodie scum' and I don't like this. It is stereotyping of the worst sort."

The victim and Mr Oram, an engineer, both live in Worksop at different addresses.