Oldham police chief: 'Retaliation, in any form, is counterproductive'

Date published: 06 July 2022

Oldham police's Chief Superintendent Chris Bowen stood side by side with Deputy Chief Executive of Oldham Council, Sayyed Osman today in a further bid to appeal for calm in the town.

The hastily-arranged press conference outside Oldham police station follows numerous incidents of disorder and violence after a video of a young man being viciously attacked sent 'shockwaves' through the community.

"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the community for coming forward with that information that assisted us in taking the investigation forward," said Mr Bowen.

"But, I would also like to ask the community to give us the opportunity to deal with the incident, to give us the time and space we need to conduct a thorough investigation and not to speculate on things on social media.

"And if they do get any information that they feel can assist us to pass it to us straight away."

"Retaliation, in any form, is counterproductive," added Mr Bowen.

"It heightens community tensions and makes the situation worse."

Mr Bowen insisted that any retaliation will be treated as seriously as those who committed the initial offence.

"Let us deal with it properly," he added.

"There is no place for vigilantism in Oldham, there is no place for vigilantism in Manchester."

Mr Osman, Deputy Chief Executive of Oldham Council, also appealed for the community to work with the authorities.

He said: "The perpetrators will be arrested and justice will be served in the appropriate manner, but you have to give space for the right investigation to take place and that takes time, that's about accuracy and about doing it in the right way."

He later added: “I can totally understand how the community is angry and frustrated on what they appear to have seen is a lack of police action, but I just want to reassure the public that as soon as we had information we could act on, we acted on it and we were there straight away.

"An attack like this on an individual sends the wrong messages out to the community.

"It makes people who are already vulnerable, people who are perhaps isolated, afraid to come out and what we’re trying to do through work with the police is to investigate and ensure the people responsible are brought to justice."

In the disturbing video, which was filmed on June 21 but went viral over the weekend, a young man is seen being savagely beaten by a number of people in an alleyway off Featherstall Road North.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log 1708 of the July 3 2022.

Alternatively, information can be passed on, anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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