CONCERNED neighbours looked on as police investigated an assault in Walcot.

Officers cordoned off two sections of Buckhurst Field near Chickerell Road for much of the afternoon and took a 17-year-old boy into custody after a man suffered a hand injury.

Five police cars, a police van and a forensic investigation van parked along the street and some officers searched one of the houses which directly faced that side of the field.

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Some of the people living in the area looked out over their front gates at the police presence while passerby gossiped about what had happened, spreading rumours of the severity of the injury and who might be involved.

The children's play area was empty and much of the field near New College was deserted, though a few people stopped to stare at the crime scene and dogwalkers went on their way.

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One neighbour, who did not wish to give his name, said: "It was a stabbing, poor kid, he's in a bad way. It happens all the time here.

"There were lots of kids on bikes riding around here earlier, before the police and ambulances came.

"It's gotten better in the last year but a lot still goes on. There used to be different gangs meeting up and fighting, all about drugs, some of them only 12 or 14.

"You just do what you normally do, no good being frightened of it.

"They did add more police for a while but as soon as they leave, it comes back. It never really stops, just goes up and down.

"You only see so many police when something like this happens, and you'll see more around for the next week or so and it'll go quiet again.

"I don't think the parents know half of what [their children] get up to."

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Another anonymous resident said: "It's terrible. You're not safe anywhere, you just keep yourself to yourself.

"There were a load of police cars, two paramedic cars and an ambulance, and people parking up to be nosey and have a look. We don't see many police here usually.

"Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely place to live on the whole. I've lived here for decades and don't mind living here, the neighbours are fine and there's a nice outlook.

"You do get some rude people sometimes, but you take it with a pinch of salt and keep yourself to yourself."