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Videos of bare knuckle brawling on streets of Blackburn slammed
VIOLENT videos showing men as young as 16 brawling in the streets of Blackburn have been posted on a Facebook page dedicated to glorifying filmed fights.
Residents where the fights took place said the videos were indicative of a ‘worrying trend’ towards bare-knuckle fighting and organised fights.
And Lancashire Police said cases of organised fights being filmed and uploaded to the internet were on the increase.
The trend has been condemned by Dave Rogers, whose son Adam, from Blackburn, was killed after suffering a single punch to the head in July 2010.
One of the most popular videos on the Fight Central site features two men in their 20s brawling in street in Shadsworth.
Another involves a punch-up involving two 16-year-olds in Audley surrounded by fifty other teenagers who are stood watching.
It has been viewed more than 800 times.
MP for Blackburn, Jack Straw said: “I just think that this is very depressing and I wonder if the individuals involved realise just how sad they are.
“It’s very difficult to control what goes on the internet but this is terrible for residents that see people fighting on their street in broad daylight.
“It’s very sad.”
The Fight Central page said: “We regularly upload fights that have been recorded by anyone. People can send fights in for us to upload for your entertainment!”
The page was launched on January 2 and already boasts footage of 43 different fights, which range from brawls caught on CCTV to altercations outside pubs and nightclubs filmed on mobile phones and seem to come from all around the world.
It has attracted more than 510 likes. In the Arran Avenue incident the two men punch each other in the face until one falls to the ground and gets kicked in the head.
It is all filmed by another man on his mobile phone. Residents of Shadsworth estate said were ‘unsurprised’ by the footage.
Duncan Roberts, who lives in Arran Avenue said: “There is a small group of young men around here that treat bare knuckle fighting as a hobby or a sport.
“While I didn’t see this particular fight happen it’s a worrying trend round here that more young lads are getting into. I suppose they don’t have much else.
“They have no work, no money. It’s like fighting is the only thing that gives them a sense of control, that makes them feel like men.”
Another Arran Avenue resident said: “The video doesn’t surprise me at all. “I’ve only lived here for a year and I’d say that half of those weekends I have seen a fight in some form or another on the streets.
“The police presence is pretty poor and not much seems to get done about it. ”
Another resident said: “There are a lot of fights around here but we just keep ourselves to ourselves.
“I have young children though and it’s worrying that these lads film it like it’s entertainment.
“We really have to monitor what our kids do online.”
The second film shows the two teenagers punching and kicking each other while their friends, who are jumping up and down and shouting words of encouragement, film it on their smartphones.
Police did not attend the scene at the time but became aware of the incident after seeing the film online.
A police spokeswoman said: “Individuals have been identified and spoken with by police and the matter has been resolved.
“No arrests were made.”
A teenager who features in the video said that the brawl, which took place on November 10, was organised because of a genuine dispute that erupted over Facebook some days earlier.
But he admitted to the Lancashire Telegraph that he regularly organises fights, saying ‘it’s like sport’.
Mr Rogers, who with his wife Pat and the Lancashire Telegraph launched the Every Action has Consequences campaign to prevent violent attacks, said: “It is such an unhealthy development and you have to wonder if these people have really thought about the consequences.
“The key lesson from Adam’s death was that one punch can kill.
“I don’t know what can be done about it but I wish that I could tell each of them Adam’s story and the potential danger they are getting themselves into.”
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