Saturday, 1 September 2007

NORWICH: We'll clamp down on gang yobs - police

We'll clamp down on gang yobs - police

Police have pledged to clamp down hard on a notorious gang in a Norwich neighbourhood who are believed to be behind a spate of anti-social acts.

The so-called Hellesdon Crew are believed to be behind a series of incidents in the area, including graffiti, vandalism, abuse and general nuisance.

However, Norfolk police says that in recent weeks two of its ringleaders have been successfully caught and placed in a youth offending centre.

Now they are pledging to come down hard on any other members of the gang.

Sgt Jeff Gover, from the Hellesdon and Horsford Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We decided we needed to get out there and hit these kids hard. I don't think those involved realised they could be sent away - but others are seeing how severe we will be for these crimes.

“We are also currently working hard to clamp down on under-age youngsters obtaining alcohol in our neighbourhood, so I am particularly keen to hear from anyone with information about this.”

Sgt Gover revealed that since April 1 police had made more than 70 arrests in the area for a range of anti-social behaviour, a third of which were youths aged between 15 and 17. Extra police staff have now been tasked with working in the area. Paul Corder, 47, from Hawthorne Avenue who cares full time for his wife Tina, but also is a part-time warden of the church hall, said the problems had grown far worse over the last few months.

He said: “We have had double-glazed windows broken, graffiti sprayed all over the hall and smashed glass is always left over the field. Cleaning up takes hours and we have to do it regularly so we can use the area. We now have thousands of pounds worth of damage as well.”

To contact the safer neighbourhood team in Hellesdon and Horsford, or another area in the county call 0845 456 4567.

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