Disturbing footage has been captured of a shopper reacting with his fists to mindless thugs marauding around a supermarket in Southwater, West Sussex.
In the clip, a middle-aged man confronts the youths, fearlessly punching one of them without hesitation. He is quickly surrounded by other delinquents, slipping as he tries to defend himself.
A second shopper then appears, pointing at the young bandits and shouting, “all of you, f**k off”.
Local press have reported on a constant stream of incidents of anti-social behaviour that have beset the suburb of Horsham, which lies on London’s affluent commuter belt, throughout the year.
Local youths intimidating shoppers has become a regular occurrence.
Earlier this month, a woman had bricks thrown at her car after she swerved past an illegal roadblock. Earlier in the year, a man was stabbed.
In another incident, a swan in Southwater Country Park was savagely killed. In February, West Sussex County Times reported on a band of 15 teenagers, described as “wild animals”, who had gathered in the centre of Southwater and engaged in all manner of anti-social behaviour, including swearing at passers by, taking drugs in plain sight and blowing smoke in people’s faces.
Police have stepped up patrols and begun issuing dispersal orders – a tactic associated with crime-ridden London – but furious locals demand even more action.
Southwater Parish Council said in a statement this week: “The council would once again like to reassure residents that we are continuing to work with the police and other agencies to tackle the ongoing incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour within the parish.
“We understand the depth of frustration as to the perceived lack of police action and on behalf of the residents we continue to have dialogue with the Police regarding these matters.
“Councillors have met, and will continue to seek further meetings with Senior Police Officers regarding these issues and are continuing to press for as much police presence in the Parish as possible.
“Councillors have also met and have a further meeting scheduled with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner where these incidents will be discussed and solutions sought.”
Horsham Councillor, Christine Costin admitted “unpleasant incidents have been occurring for some time and it is clear that our communities are anxious; people are keen to see the tensions relieved by action.
“A lot of people do not feel safe. Local Police are taking special measures.”
The stunning footage of a member of the public exacting his own justice in Southwater mirrors another scene captured earlier this week of an enraged motorist dragging an environmental activist off the M25 during a sit-in protest that stopped traffic dead.
Arguably the most extraordinary part of the clip is the sight of police officers protecting the protesters instead of pulling them off the motorway themselves.
Other damning footage later emerged of officers enabling climate protesters, angering the public and asking serious questions of police tactics in modern Britain.