Hotline puts yobs on the spot

PUBLISHED: 05:54 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:48 24 May 2010

THOUSANDS of people have helped the police target nuisance yobs in the Cheddar area by ringing a crime-busting hotline. Since the hotline was launched thousands of incidents of antisocial behaviour have been logged onto a database at Sedgemoor District Co

THOUSANDS of people have helped the police target nuisance yobs in the Cheddar area by ringing a crime-busting hotline.Since the hotline was launched thousands of incidents of antisocial behaviour have been logged onto a database at Sedgemoor District Council.The information is now being used to determine where and when police patrol the streets in an effort to catch the problem pests.Each police officer will be told where the problems are on their beat and who the troublemakers are.Notorious hotspots in the Cheddar area are:* Station Road, Cheddar, near the toilet block.* Roads south of The Square, Axbridge.* The area surrounding St Mary's Church, Wedmore.A network of security cameras has also been set up across Sedgemoor to catch the yobs in action. When incidents are reported the information is sent to CCTV operators.Around 10,000 incidents have been recorded on the database in the Sedgemoor area. People have been reporting offences from vandalism and under-age drinking to graffiti and dog fouling on the 24-hour number.Repeat offenders are being sent a warning letter if they persist. The letter is the first stage in a series of steps which can ultimately result in an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO).The council's community safety officer, Lucy Willmott, said: "The incidents aren't just recorded by the residents. The police, housing department and landlords have also helped."These groups are all involved in an antisocial behaviour steering group."Later in the year we are going to re-launch the hotline and promote it more. We will be handing out cards with the number on. The system appears to be working. "Because we have had so many reports it appears as if there has been a lot of problems. But the situation is that now we know where all the problems are. Every time we have sent out a warning letter the problems with that particular person have stopped."Anyone who wants to report an incident should call 0800 585 360.

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