Black teen handcuffed ‘while buying shampoo in Superdrug’ in Sussex

·3-min read

A black teenage boy was allegedly tackled to the floor and handcuffed by two civilian security “Rangers” as he was “buying shampoo” in a pharmacy in Sussex.

Footage posted to Twitter by the 15-year-old’s mother appears to show him being kneeled on and cuffed by two civilian security guards in Superdrug, Chichester on Wednesday.

Police arrived to arrest the teenager, his mother said.

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The actions of the civilian security force were criticised on social media with some questioning their power to detain the boy.

Sussex Police said they were called to reports that a group of teenagers had become involved in an altercation at 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Three teenagers had been detained by civilian security staff by the time police arrived the force added with two subsequently arrested.

A worker at the East Street shop also reported being assaulted, officers said.

The teen’s mother told the Mirror: “They [the “rangers”] started to get aggressive towards them and one of them got into my son’s personal space and he asked if ‘can you get out of my face’.

“What I have been told is the ranger pushed him and my son pushed back.

“He was then slam dunked to the floor and sat on top of him as you see in the video and they put plastic handcuffs on him - the police then arrived and arrested my son.”

Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) announced they were funding two “Rangers” to patrol the city centre to prevent and report crime to the relevant authorities and deter anti-social, offensive or obstructive behaviour.

One Twitter user asked: “How the heck does a private business-funded security force have the power to handcuff young kids? Are they trained? Are they safe? This looks awful.”

Another added: “This is beyond horrific. This is not Detroit, this is middle-class, Chichester, West Sussex.”

A 15-year-old boy, from Worthing, and a 16-year-old boy, from Chichester, were arrested on suspicion of assault.

The force said it is looking into the full circumstances of what happened.

Chichester District Council also issued a statement in response to the video, saying: “We have been made aware of an incident that took place in Chichester city today and we want to clarify that no Chichester District Council staff were involved.”

A Superdrug spokesperson said: “An incident occurred today in our Chichester store between Chichester BID Rangers and a group of young males they were monitoring.

“Unfortunately, female staff were also assaulted. This is now a police matter, and we are offering our full assistance to Sussex Police. Our priority is always to keep our colleagues and customers safe, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violence and aggression. The store remains closed due to damage caused.”

A Chichester BID spokesperson added: “Chichester BID is aware of an incident that occurred on 22 March at the Superdrug store on East Street, involving a group of young people and two Rangers.

“Together with Blayde Security, who provide our security services, we are cooperating fully with Sussex Police, who are investigating the matter. We are taking this very seriously.

“We want to reassure traders, residents and visitors to Chichester city centre that we are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all.”