Teenagers arrested in police ‘safety’ purge
PUBLISHED: 13:30 09 December 2010
A GANG of teenagers from Weston thought to be behind a catalogue of offences including spitting on members of the public, theft and violence, have been arrested.
The prolific group, all aged between 16-19, are suspected of being involved in criminal damage, nine theft offences, including alcohol from town centre shops and retail outlets, and two incidents of violence.
One youth, who was not charged but is subject to a pending antisocial behaviour order, was reported to have spat on a passer-by’s head from on top of the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
The innocent victim then marched to the police station, with the spit still on his head, and after a DNA test police officers linked up the sample to the known offender on the database.
In recent weeks the town centre, south ward and the Worle and villages neighbourhood policing teams have all been contacted by residents in relation to a variety of antisocial incidents affecting their communities - all thought to have been committed by the same gang.
Three men were arrested on December 1 and charged with a total of six offences.
A fourth man was arrested and charged on December 2 with three further offences.
All four, and two other associates, are all subject to pending antisocial behaviour order applications.
South ward neighbourhood team sergeant, Shane Hawkings, said: “We are committed to ensuring that local people feel safe and the arrests of these individuals are a positive step towards achieving this.
“The offences carried out by these young men have affected many people across the town and I hope the action taken today sends a clear message that we will not tolerate incidents of antisocial behaviour within our communities”
The civil orders are given by the courts after requests from police and often ban certain behaviour of individuals or groups and can also restrict them from entering specific areas.
North Worle councillor Marcia Pepperall said antisocial behaviour orders are an ‘excellent’ idea and she believes the police should give out more.
She said: “People must know that they can’t get away with certain types of behaviour and it was only recently that I was asking why more aren’t given out.
“Long-term it is also good for the people who receive them as it will help them change and put them on the right track.”