Thursday, 30 August 2007

ST NEOTS: 'Getting away with murder'

'Getting away with murder'

MINDLESS VANDALISM: Police have promised extra patrols after residents complained of the damage by youths.  Picture: SUPPLIED.
MINDLESS VANDALISM: Police have promised extra patrols after residents complained of the damage by youths. Picture: SUPPLIED.

EXTRA police patrols have been promised for a part of St Neots that has been suffering at the hands of drunken youths who vandalise trees, throw glass bottles into gardens and urinate on walls.

Eaton Socon residents living close to the green that runs alongside Trafalgar Road and Culloden Close say their lives are being made a misery by the "mindless" behaviour of youths.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, told The Hunts Post: "I have phoned the police on a number of occasions but when they turn up the youths have dispersed.

"I now feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. The last time a resident complained about the youths, eggs were thrown at his house."

Another man, who had witnessed youngsters pulling down tree branches, described the behaviour as "mindless vandalism".

He said: "We do not mind groups meeting on the green as long as they are not too noisy, respect the environment and clean up when they leave.

"What we object to is their blatant disregard for the people living near to the green.

"I have lived here since 1979 and the problem seems to be going on and on, and getting worse and worse. The kids are getting away with murder."

Residents said youngsters are meeting on the green most Friday evenings to drink. When they leave, the area is littered with rubbish.

Some homeowners nearby have even reported seeing youths climbing onto the roofs of houses.

St Neots town councillor, Barry Chapman, said he has been investigating the complaints in an attempt to prevent any further occurrences.

"Councillors have been contacted by residents of Great North Road and Mill Hill area over increased vandalism and drunkenness.

"The green between Great North Road and Trafalgar Road has been particularly hard hit with branches pulled from trees and broken bottles and beer cans strewn over the green.

"PCSOs have increased patrols of the area in hope of identifying those responsible, and HDC have carried up a clean-up operation in the area."

Cllr Brenda Arnold, who lives in Eaton Socon, added: "We should all take a zero tolerance approach to vandalism, this is something that affects us all."

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said there was already a PCSO regularly patrolling the site, but action would be taken to identify the youths responsible and put a stop to the antisocial behaviour.

The spokesman said: "In light of the residents concerns there will be extra patrols in the area over the next few months and I would urge residents to continue reporting incidents of antisocial behaviour to the police and take a note of their crime reference numbers."

INFORMATION: To report incidents of antisocial behaviour contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564.

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