Thursday, 20 September 2007

FERNDOWN/DORSET: Yobs using catapults to wreak havoc on estate

Yobs using catapults to wreak havoc on estate

YOBS are roaming a residential area, using catapults to fire metal balls in Ferndown.

Officials are so worried, they are now calling on parents and residents to help to stamp out the misuse of the weapon before someone is seriously hurt.

A number of catapult-related incidents have already been reported and the Heatherlands Community Centre has had two of its windows smashed.

During the clear-up, workers found that metal balls the size of a five-pence-piece had been used.

Residents and the police have reported seeing groups of young people using catapults on the estate but, as yet, no-one has been caught in possession of them.

East Dorset District Council officials and other lead members of Pact (Partners and Communities Together) are now calling on parents and residents on the estate to be vigilant and report, in confidence, anyone seen using a catapult illegally.

Councillor Queenie Comfort, the council's lead member for community, said: "The speed and size of these balls means that, if anyone got in the way of its intended target, it could cause serious harm.

"It's unbelievable to think that people are using catapults to cause wilful damage and destruction on their own estate.

"If something is not done about this, it can only be a matter of time before an animal or human is injured, or worse.

"I ask, for the safety of the people on the estate, that parents make sure that it isn't their children using these potentially dangerous weapons."

If you see anyone misusing a catapult on the estate, please call Bob Bailey, the council's anti-social behaviour officer, in confidence on 01202 639040.

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