Following the government's successful quelling of the riots which troubled some of the UK's major cities in August, it seems that acts of group vandalism and violence have made a reappearance, this time in a Devon seaside town.
On Monday evening, at around 8pm, a gang of youths congregated outside the Spar convenience store in East Devon seaside resort, Budleigh Salterton. The youngsters were huddled together in what appeared to be a threatening manner.
"It was very frightening," one eye-witness said, "One minute, the street was empty, and then this pretty massive group of teenagers appeared, some of them hooded. There must have been at least five of them. They sort of gathered outside Spar. They could have been concealing weapons, for all I know. Or slinging substances. It was too dark to see."
The youths continued to stand outside the store for several more minutes, causing the local inhabitants, many of them in their 80s, to become more and more concerned.
"At one point, a crisp packet was dropped," said another onlooker, "I was beside myself."
One courageous town local took the step of remonstrating with the hoodies, but was met by silence. Soon afterwards, events escalated into a frenzy of violence, with a garden pot belonging to one Mr Horniald-Tozer being knocked over.
"There was quite a bang, and the pot went down," Mr Horniald-Tozer explained, "I wouldn't mind, but it was a gift from my wife. She's dead now."
More frightened residents called the police, who, after several minutes of heated discussion, persuaded the group to move on.
On Tuesday, the Budleigh Salterton Resident's Association announced its ambition to prosecute the youths.
A lawyer acting on behalf of one of the youths said, "It's really not fair on my client. All these young people want is the right to knock over a garden pot here and there when they feel like it. We all have individual needs. And we've all been young once, haven't we?"