Family liaison to stop vandalism
RESIDENTS in one North Somerset village have adopted a unique approach to solving problems such as underage drinking and vandalism
RESIDENTS in one North Somerset village have adopted a unique approach to solving problems such as underage drinking and vandalism. Villagers in Winscombe have developed a community initiative involving members of the community association, local action team (LAT) and the police which aims to combat antisocial behaviour.LAT chairman Steve Bridges said: "We have had a problem since two or three weeks ago, as there are still one or two who are stupid enough to do things in the area."We have set up a family liaison team so if youngsters who are caught doing something wrong, we visit their families with community leaders and the police."These children need to realise the community is getting a bit annoyed with them. We have done this twice now and I think we have nipped the problem in the bud."The family liaison does work in places where people lack the courage and bravery to stand up to these people."If the community starts putting pressure on people then they have more clout than the police and the family will start to take charge of these people."Winscombe Community Association chairman David Griffis said: "We have had a lot of vandalism last year which cost us £20,000."A hearing loop system worth £1,400 was stolen from the centre and there were two fires which destroyed a gazebo and an outdoor shed."The police have worked very hard and caught a lot of people."We are dealing with other people in relation to vandalism and we have given than the option of paying up or being taken to court."People who do this sort of thing must know there will be a big bill to pay. "Because of the vandalism we spent £15,000 on security measures for the community centre including CCTV and burglar alarms monitored by the police."When you suffer £20,000 damage in one year we feel a duty to defend our property.