Rise in ‘aggression and fighting’ in Weston town centre as antisocial behaviour increases

High Street, Weston-s-Mare.

High Street, Weston-s-Mare. - Credit: Archant

A rise in ‘unruly teenagers’ being ‘aggressive and fighting’ in Weston-super-Mare town centre has resulted in more antisocial behaviour occurring.

Some businesses have had to improve their security measures due to youngsters committing more antisocial behaviour offences in recent weeks.

The Mercury reported in December antisocial behaviour had fallen in the town centre by 64 per cent since 2013, when almost 1,300 incidents were recorded.

But Tim Lamb, McDonald’s franchisee and chairman of the Weston’s Business Improvement District (BID), says a spring-time increase is ‘a yearly issue’.

He said: “Antisocial behaviour is something we experience every year.

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“When the weather gets nicer, people want to spend more time out in the town centre and this leads to more incidents of aggression and fighting, it is unruly teenagers who give us a challenging couple of weeks.

“All the key authorities, including businesses, North Somerset Council, the BID team and the police need to get our heads together to eradicate this issue like we have done in previous years.”

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There are tools at businesses’ disposal, such as StoreNet radio surveillance which allows for communication between security and store staff to keep watch out for certain individuals who may be banned from their premises.

Chris Jackson, manager of Proper Job in Regent Street, said: “It has got worse during the past year.

“We had to rehire a security team before Christmas because people were coming into the store and being aggressive, or chucking stones down from the NCP car park roof.

“The street warden team do a great job, but their hands are tied because these kids are under age, all they can do is move them on with a warning.”

Steve Townsend, town centre and BID manager, added: “There is always a rise in antisocial behaviour issues around this time every year. Lots of work is being done to combat this.

“This should not deter anyone from coming into the town centre, Weston is a good place to be.”

People can report incidents of antisocial behaviour to the council online by logging on to adforms.n-somerset.gov.uk/1969

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