Teenagers arrested in antisocial curb

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 September 2013

Archant

SEVEN teenagers have been arrested in Weston this week in a fresh police clamp-down on antisocial behaviour.

Youngsters were reportedly starting fires, swearing at people and damaging property on the Oldmixon estate, often in groups of up to 50 at a time.

Police imposed a curfew limiting youngsters from being in the area but were then criticised by some for not doing enough to uphold it.

But officers have now arrested and cautioned seven youngsters aged 14-16 who had been causing problems in Aller Parade and said their parents were ‘horrified’ to learn about what their offspring had been getting up to.

A statement from Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “Following complaints from residents, we reviewed CCTV from the estate which showed the group committing a range of offences from setting fire to a post box, setting fire to rubbish on the floor which led to the fire brigade being called out and balls being deliberately kicked against shop shutters.”

Beat manager PC Jack Roth said: “The behaviour of these young people is unacceptable and local residents should not have to put up with antisocial behaviour (ASB) on their doorsteps.

“Their parents were horrified to hear them admit to taking part in ASB in their own neighbourhood and were even more disgusted when we showed them the CCTV footage of their children behaving in this way.

“I want to appeal to all parents to keep an eye on their children and to know where they are at all times.

“I also want to reassure local people that antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated and we’ll take a robust approach with those people who choose not to behave appropriately.”

People working and living in the area have backed the police action and say they have noticed the change.

Sue Plested, of Walton, Monkton Avenue and a member of staff at McColls in Aller Parade said: “The police are starting to control it now.

“It’s not the bigger ones so much causing the problem, it’s the younger ones.

“But it has calmed down a lot. The police are doing a good job at the moment. It has been better since the arrests happened.”

Patricia Parker, aged 68, of Aller Parade, said that the problem has eased since the police made arrests but that it has been ‘awful’ in the recent past.

She said: “It has been absolutely awful.

“Groups of about 50 kicking the ball at the shutters, throwing bins and they damaged the seats so the police had to take them away.

“It has been absolutely atrocious.”

Another resident who did not wish to be named said youths had been shooting air rifles at CCTV cameras and praised the police for making arrests.

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