A 17-year-old boy from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but was released under investigation pending further enquiries.

A security guard was assaulted after confronting a suspected shoplifter at the Salisbury Christmas Market at about 8.10pm yesterday, December 4. He was approached a group of teenagers and asked them to leave the market, as he believed they had been involved in a shoplifting incident earlier in the evening.

One teenager spat in the direction of the guard and another approached him from behind and hit him across the side of the head with a sharp object.

The security guard, a man in his 60s, was knocked to the ground and suffered bleeding to his left ear.

Officers carried out a search of the area, arresting a suspect near the railway station.

This assault follows a spate of incidents involving groups of young people causing trouble at the Christmas Market.

Community Co-ordinator A/Sgt Alan Cromwell, from Wiltshire South Community Policing Team, said: “We have been made aware of a small group of young people who have been out in Salisbury in the evenings causing trouble around the Christmas market. This anti-social behaviour and criminal damage is proving disruptive and frustrating for local people and visitors, who are trying to enjoy the festivities.”

“I want to reassure the public that we are actively working to crackdown on this unacceptable behaviour and have been working with the Youth Offending Team to tackle the problem.

“We are also carrying out extra patrols in the city centre in the evenings to hopefully provide a deterrent to the small minority who appear to want to spoil the fun of the wider community.”

Anyone with information about the assault should contact PC Hollie Elliott, Wiltshire South Community Policing Team, on 101, quoting crime reference 54180115027, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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