Southampton: Officers investigate teens throwing Bella Italia chairs

More than 100 teenagers were spotted throwing furniture and bottles from outside Bella Italia in Southampton on Friday afternoon.

The group were previously spotted in Westquay Shopping Centre causing anti-social behaviour. 

Southampton Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy described the incident as ‘totally unacceptable’. 

Daily Echo: The roundabout where teenagers were seen throwing chairs The roundabout where teenagers were seen throwing chairs (Image: Newsquest)

Chief inspector Kennedy confirmed investigating officers are watching CCTV to identify the perpetrators. 

He said: “We currently remain in the city centre following a number of reports of anti-social behaviour and disorder in locations including Westquay Shopping Centre, Palmerston Road and Hoglands Park.

“We know that this behaviour will have been intimidating and disruptive to those in the area this afternoon, including businesses, staff and members of the public and want to reassure you that this won’t be tolerated by police.

“We have a number of officers and dedicated resources in the city centre and its surroundings following these reports and our enquiries will be focused on identifying the main perpetrators.

“Please come and speak to patrolling officers if you have any questions or concerns.”

READ MORE: Reports of ‘150 teenagers throwing chairs’ from Bella Italia into road

Several people have since spoken of their shock about what happened. 

A Bella Italia employee, who wished to remain unnamed, said the teenagers were running around with the restaurant’s outdoor dining chairs.

She said: “I told them ‘if you don’t put them down, I’m going to have to call the police.’

“They didn’t listen and ran towards the roundabout at the bottom of the road and were trying to block traffic.

“They just abandoned the chairs there and fortunately a couple of customers helped me retrieve them.

“It was surprising and certainly caught me off guard.”

Maggie Rickards was travelling onboard the number two bus when it was pelted by what is believed to be smoke bombs.

She said: “Whilst on the bus we were nearly bombed by yobs.

“Time for Southampton’s police force to do some patrolling and for the darlings’ parents to be fined.

“It may bring it home to their offspring.”

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Shock was also expressed by commenters on the Echo’s Facebook page.

Kelly Morse said: “These kids came running through Primark, nearly knocking my 6 year old over.”

According to Katie Cook, she also was on a bus when they ‘put a smoke bomb’ on board.

She said: “My friend and I were on with our children.

“[They] then went into the Greggs and starting taking things out of the chiller.

“It was quite scary.”

Bella Italia has confirmed no members of staff were hurt during the shocking incident.

A spokesperson added: “No property was damaged. We’re open for business as usual.”

Prior to this incident, officers were alerted to a large group of people causing anti-social behaviour in the dining area of Westquay shopping centre.

Laura Read, general manager of Westquay, said: “We can confirm that earlier today we had a large gathering of people on the Dining Level.

“We are pleased to say that the incident passed without any significant disturbance to our normal operations.

“The safety of our customers, colleagues and occupiers is always our top priority.”

No arrests have been made by officers and there have been no reports of weapons being involved or sighted.

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