Lancing residents to get self-defence class following robberies

Three parish councillors have resigned in recent weeks. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Three parish councillors have resigned in recent weeks. Picture: Stephen Goodger

After recent crimes in the village, residents will be offered the chance to train up on self-defence at a free class at Lancing Parish Hall.

Parish councillors voted last Wednesday to provide a room at the Parish Hall in South Street after they were approached by a self-defence instructor offering to run a class free of charge.

Widewater councillor Geoff Patmore said: “I think it is probably a first but it is a good idea against the current backdrop in terms of armed robberies.

“It is useful to know what to do if you are confronted and hope that you never have to use it.”

The idea came from Sean Clark, a 42-year-old Krav Maga student and long-time resident of Lancing. After a stabbing incident in the village he says he noticed a lot of fear on the community Facebook page and decided to act, speaking to his instructor and pitching the idea for a workshop to councillor Carol Albury.

“It is a case of keep yourself out of trouble to start with,” said Mr Clark, “but if you are really in trouble and you cannot avoid it it will give you some basic tools.”

Mr Clark said the class would probably be geared at general awareness, including teaching people the difference between a knife threat and a knife attack.

“It is grim, nasty stuff and it’s a shame we have to do it,” he added but said if just one person found themselves in a bad situation but knew how to react because of the workshop it would be worth it.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Clark told the story of when a he witnessed a man walk into a restaurant and try to attack two women several years ago.

“I was the only person there able to stand up and protect my brother.” Mr Clark had been out for a carvery with his brother who had previously suffered brain damage.

“I had to do something,” he added. “That is what made me start doing Krav Maga.”

A lifelong martial arts enthusiast, Mr Clark says the brand he practices, Cross Krav Maga, is the best system he has come across.

Keith Collyer, who will teach the class, said: “What it is about is a demonstration going through things to look for and being aware.”

An exact date for the training workshop, which will be available for all adults over 18 years of age, is yet to be determined.

Councillor Gloria Eveleigh, who chairs Lancing Parish Council, said: “We are looking to take a many pronged approach to addressing the community’s fears, minimising their perception of the level of crime in Lancing which is, in fact, one of the lowest in the country.”

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