Living in fear

MEAD VALE TEENAGERS are sitting on shop roofs in Mead Vale, Worle, drinking alcohol until 5am and traders are ready to 'take matters into their own hands'

MEAD VALETEENAGERS are sitting on shop roofs in Mead Vale, Worle, drinking alcohol until 5am and traders are ready to 'take matters into their own hands'.Youths are regularly spotted chucking paint on walls, smashing empty alcohol bottles on the pathways, smoking drugs and even having sex on grass areas.Traders are looking into buying a 'mosquito' deterrent system which gives off a high pitched noise only heard by teenagers.They say they get little help from the police and need to take action themselves.One trader, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said: "The teenagers know nothing happens to them when they smash shop windows or pull down guttering so there's no deterrent."In 20 years I've never seen a kid get prosecuted."If the police took action against just a couple of them it would put the rest off. We know the youths' names and often where they live, but get no back- up if we ask."I often see residents chasing gangs of youths because they've smashed windows on their houses. Something has to be done or people will take matters into their own hands."Another trader said: "Parents need to take responsibility. I've seen mums dole out alcohol and cigarettes to their kids as young as 12. "The parents just chuck them out of the house and let them roam all night if they want. When a policeman does come along the kids laugh at them because they know nothing will happen. But most of the time our calls are ignored."Sometimes I feel like going down to the station and dragging an officer up here myself."PREANES GREENRESIDENTS living on a Worle housing estate are being urged to keep diaries of youth problems in a bid to help catch offenders.People in Preanes Green have had enough of young yobs throwing stones at properties, smashing up bus shelters and mouthing off when told to behave.At a residents' meeting on Tuesday, association chairman David Evans asked people to keep diaries of the problems they have which can be used as evidence in prosecutions.Mr Evans, also a town councillor, said: "The police response is awful and when they do give a response they give a crime number and that's all."The residents are losing faith, which is a pity, because the police do some good work but are overstretched. They also find it tough to get someone into court and then magistrates let the offenders off with just a community order which is a waste of time."If people can keep diaries of incidents and descriptions it gives officers more ammunition."Just recently the last panel of the bus shelter on Clovelly Road was smashed. I remember putting it in two years ago and it was knocked down the very next day."This time we will put wrought iron across the panels. It might not look pretty but the kids will get sore shins if they try to break it."Senior citizens are also fed up with getting a load of verbal abuse when they ask kids to stop kicking footballs against their homes or throwing stones at their windows."Often the youngsters are from other areas so we have no idea who they are or how to approach their parents. Hopefully the diaries will help solve this problem.

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