Herald comment: Why Hampden Park needs to find its voice

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The cloud that had hung so heavily over Hampden Park since the middle of last August, lifted a little this week – but only momentarily.

The conviction of two teenagers for the brutal murder of Chris Poole at least gave some justice to the family of a middle-aged man whose only crime was to take a summer’s evening stroll to the local shops.

But as one family tried to move on from the tragedy, two others were plunged more deeply into it than ever – including that of 15-year-old Joe Chapman, identified by the court for the first time after his conviction this week.

The horrific reality of it all – played out in a Lewes courtroom – doesn’t even begin to take away the pain felt in this neighbourhood, way beyond the three families most tragically involved. The wounds still cut deep into the fabric of a community still feeling confused and frightened at what happened to it.

So the time has come to try to rebuild.

The police have promised action, partnering other agencies to try to curb anti-social behaviour in the area.

They promise more dialogue and support, claiming that the new approach has already led to a number of successful actions and prosecutions. Let’s hope so.

Hampden Park hasn’t yet found closure but it needs to find its voice as well as its confidence.