Over recent weeks there has been a marked increase in Anti-Social Behaviour and criminal damage throughout the Parks, Town Centre, Schools and Viaduct.
Large gatherings of teenagers have continuously been causing criminal damage, smashing bottles being abusive to residents etc.
Teenagers are getting alcohol from older teens, but they have started using false ID’s or family members driving licences etc. Supermarkets have been made aware of the issues and many have reported a rise in theft of alcohol also.
Teenagers have been treated for overdosing on drink and Xanax. This should ring alarm bells for all parents, we all have a responsibility to ensure our young people are safe.
We would like to reassure residents that we are increasing patrols of the affected areas and will not hesitate to invoke a section 35 dispersal order as was in place recently whereby we can disperse groups acting in an anti-social way, remove items from individuals that could be used to cause ASB and take those under the age 18 home. If an individual refuses to leave the area as directed by a PC or PCSO they can be arrested.
We are using the ASB escalation process, which allows us to deal with individuals within the groups who are causing problems, and to target them if they persist, community protection notices and Criminal behaviour orders can be placed on individuals to ensure the community is protected.
These issues are not a job for the police to tackle alone and We would ask parents to ensure they know where their children are and what they are doing. These groups are out until the early hours and although there are some Young Adults in the groups, there are increasing numbers of younger children out at these times. If your child has gone off grid and is not where you expect them to be, go out and ensure they are not contributing to these issues.
These problems are the result of a minority of our young people and many that are out with these groups would not dream of damaging property or smashing bottles through the park, but due to the numbers out at the moment those wanting to cause issues have for want of a better phrase “a security blanket around them”
If you witness groups damaging things or large groups taking drugs please phone us at the time on 999.
Thank you for your support.