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Shahid Malik Member of Parliament for Dewsbury and Mirfield

MP calms feuding families

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19 Feb 2010

From the Dewsbury Reporter, February 19, 2010.

MP Shahid Malik put his own safety aside as he waded in to calm a violent street row at the weekend.  

Mr Malik risked being punched himself as he calmed down two families arguing over a parking space in Tanhouse Street, Ravensthorpe.  

He separated the feuding families until police arrived.

Coun Mumtaz Hussain (Lab, Dews West) also helped contain the tinderbox situation, which erupted on Sunday afternoon.  

The MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield said: “It was ugly with punches being thrown everywhere. People were getting hurt and tensions were running high.  

“It was a mad, chaotic situation which wasn’t going to calm down, and was only going to get worse. I was half expecting to get hit in the middle of it all.”

Mr Malik said one of the worst sights was that of an older woman embroiled in the fighting. “The sight of her on the receiving end of street violence was not pleasant,” he said. “I couldn’t stand by and let this continue. I had to get people back into their homes.”

Insp Jenny Thompson praised both politicians for their help in containing the violence. She said police took several calls from worried residents.  

And she added: “It started when two people argued about a parking place and escalated from there. The two assaulted each other and relatives came out to remonstrate.”

Eventually, about 10 people were involved.  

Insp Thompson said Mr Malik was in the area, saw the melee and got out of his car to help.  

She said: “We were there within minutes and he had managed to separate the parties and get them back to their homes.  

“Coun Hussain was also there and helped calm things down and this helped us a great deal.”  

Seven people were arrested for various offences of affray and assault.  

“The two men stopped the situation from escalating. It could have been a lot worse,” said Insp Thompson.  

Mr Malik said: “There was this big commotion, but luckily it turned out okay.  

“I wasn’t scared but I was apprehensive. I think they knew who I was and that’s why they started to move apart.  

“Everyone was horrified at what was taking place on a Sunday afternoon in a residential street. Violence like this is not acceptable.”

Coun Hussain was joining the MP to view the site for a new sports pitch.

“There was an issue about parking and I know both families involved,” he said.  

“Shahid went in first, calmed people down and told them this was not the way forward. If this had gone on we could have had serious trouble.”

Coun Hussain has arranged for a member of the community to help the families resolve the issue. 

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