Police 'doing their best'
POLICE officers say Weston and Worle's antisocial behaviour problems can be tackled by providing more youth facilities and getting tough with parents
POLICE officers say Weston and Worle's antisocial behaviour problems can be tackled by providing more youth facilities and getting tough with parents.Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers are working with North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council to organise more activities for young people, but a key problem is a lack of resources.Weston's sector deputy, Sergeant Dave Holtby, said: "There isn't the youth provision in these areas that there is in other places. We are working with both councils to identify what is needed, but we are an enforcement agency so have to let the other authorities lead."It's always an issue of resources. But with activities on offer to divert the youths into more lawful and constructive pursuits, we wouldn't be needed as much in these areas. We are trying to do our best as best we can."One initiative involves identifying the youths and writing to their parents to let them know when their children are in a place that could lead them into offending. It is then their responsibility to take action."There will be those who don't care but we are trying to get those who will listen motivated because it will then be easier to identify and target those who still cause problems."Antisocial behaviour isn't just a problem for the police. Poor parenting skills need addressing."Historically, Friday nights are the worst in Ashcombe Park. We are up there on a regular basis and deploying staff specifically for that role. The difficulty we have is that the problem then moves on and that's why we need alternatives for them to do."Traders in Mead Vale have been offered the chance to join the store-net system which would give direct links to any beat manager on duty."We are also working with Knightstone Housing to develop activities in the area but there are issues about who owns land that we are trying to sort out. Once we get the appropriate consent we can landscape areas and perhaps build a youth shelter. Unfortunately we can't be everywhere 24 hours a day."Alcohol exclusion zones such as in the Bournville are aimed at preventing anti-social drinking. "We can say an individual must stop consuming the alcohol and if they refuse they commit an offence but drinking in the street isn't an offence in it's own right.