Pupils flee as police pursuit of attempted robbery suspects ends near Ringwood School
PUPILS ran for safety as a car crashed into a kerb near Ringwood School after a high-speed cross-county police pursuit of attempted robbery suspects.
The dramatic conclusion of the chase at Southampton Road's junction with Parsonage Barn Lane, which resulted in a gang of five men from London being arrested, came as youngsters were walking home and being collected by parents yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.
Dorset Police patrol cars had been pursuing a BMW from Bournemouth, with overhead help from a National Police Air Service helicopter.
They had responded to a call-out around 2.50pm, reporting that a man had attempted to steal a Rolex watch from the Arcade Jewellers in Bournemouth.
A staff member was assaulted in the process, suffering minor injuries, before the offender was said to have fled the scene in the BMW.
Residents took to social media to share their shock at what had happened, and an eyewitness video showed screaming schoolchildren scattering from the crashed car.
One mother posted: “Pretty scary school pick-up today, one of the guys ran towards our car and police blocked us in with sirens blaring. Never seen so much police.”
Another poster reported having seen the BMW being chased in Southampton Road shortly beforehand with a damaged bumper “dragging along the ground”.
Officers arrested a 37-year-old man, two men aged 22, a 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery.
One of the men was also arrested on suspicion of assault. All five were helping detectives with their enquiries this morning (Friday).
DI Shaun Inkpen, of Bournemouth CID, said: “A full investigation is under way and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and witnessed what happened to please come forward and assist us with our investigation.
“I would also urge motorists who may have captured anything of relevance on dashcam, either in Bournemouth or Ringwood, to please contact Dorset Police.”
Those with information should call officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 55210154187, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.