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Dealing with anti-social behaviour

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Tuesday 23 August 2005 12.54pm
I was wondering if anyone could give any advice on how to deal with youngsters running wild, committing any acts of vandalism. On my estate, recently a fire was set on the stairs of a building, and a day later teh fire exit door was deliberately broken. This is scary, and although we have contacted Simon Hughes as well as the police, nothing has been done and it won't eb long before someone gets seriously injured. It is difficult catching these youths in the act, and even when that is the case, the attitude of their parents shows where their complete disregard comes from. I would be grateful if you could share your experiences with me.
Tuesday 23 August 2005 1.22pm
Ed. is it possible to photograph them with out them seeing you? then take them to the relevant housing dept., or the community officer?
the trouble is too many people absolve them selves from chastising their children now days..

if i was not a pacifist i would suggest filling a large chamber pot and throwing it over them....
Tuesday 23 August 2005 1.35pm
As I said, it is difficult catching them in the act. We have tried most of the "known" ways to tackle this, but are a bit at the end of our thether now.
Tuesday 23 August 2005 4.24pm
This sort of anti-social behaviour is very worrying. It is a nuisance at best and, as you say, at worst it could end up with someone being injured. I live in Lambeth and they often send out pamphlets about what to do about anti-social behaviour. This link contains some information that might be useful

Do you have a Tenants & Residents Association? They sometimes have more 'weight' in approaching the council about problems. I've been to TRA meetings where people from the council have attended so you have an opportunity to grill them a bit about what's being done - or at least raise the problem. We managed to get some barriers erected to stop youths whizzing through the estate on motorized scooters (though they do still hang around).

I wonder if the youths causing trouble for you actually live on the estate? If so, surely the council could take some measures against the parents?

Good luck anyway
Tuesday 23 August 2005 4.45pm
There was a meeting 2 weeks ago with Simon Hughes as well as the Estate manager. That same day people in the street on their way home from work were pelted with stones, only ryard from the venue, and since then the situation has further deteriorated, just as we were getting our hopes up. I have written to Simon Hughes today as well, and complained to the Estate Manager for the 2nd time in 3 days. I am hoping that a relentless barage of emails/phone calls will get someone with the right authority to do something. My reesources are limited, and I have a family to run as well.
Tuesday 23 August 2005 5.48pm
I sympathise with you - we had similar problems. The stress and unhappiness that these kids create has to experinced to be believed.

Did the parents completly disregard you? Have you been in touch with the local community police officers? Are there council wardens who patrol the area? Has CCTV been considered? How about getting a news story in the local press. The thing is is that immediate action is required but dealing with bodies such as Southwark can be akin to tearing your hair out; they take ages to respond and even longer to take positive action. Best of luck.
Friday 26 August 2005 4.44pm
We have had similar problems in our block. You could try contacting your relevant community policing officer, whom I found via the Walworth Rd police station. This guy has been totally brilliant and has just put me in touch with the Southwark Arson Reduction Officer (it's obviously a big issue in the area.) Apparently she has the muscle to get all sorts of arses kicked. He's also the one to get more police on the beat in your area etc etc.
If you send me a private message I can give you the name of the police officer I have been dealing with.

The other thing is to report each incident to the police. Once they have a record of criminal damage, with dates, they can pursue it as a pattern of behaviour. And you need this crime reference number they give..

And this level of police contact can result in more police cars in your area as well (they told us.)

I'd do this rather than the Simon Hughes route in the first instance as you are at risk and the police can act fast.

Good luck..

Friday 26 August 2005 6.32pm
We are having a lot of trouble in the Shad Thames area as well. Tonight a gang of locals was ripping off protective foam from the scaffold outside the Carnival HQ. I told them to stop but they took no notice. They then proceeded to walk down the streets ripping the foam in pieces and scattering it all over the road. This was not sufficiently bad to warrant calling police since I am sure that they have better things to do at present. However I have decided to take my camera with me at all times so I can then get evidence to present to the police.
Tuesday 30 August 2005 3.42pm
We have recently been suffering as well. The police told me when they came round that if they were loitering and with the presumed pretext of causing problems, we were to call 999 immediately. They will come round sirens/flashing lights the lot and get rid of them.

We may think that the problems are not enough to warrant police coming out, but in actual fact, it seems that unfortunately in SE1 as theres quite a lot of issues with delinquent kids the police will come out and stop them if we request them to, especially if linked to arson and violent behaviour.

The main thing is, don't let them see you taking pictures or get yourself linked to the police (the police are confidential when you do call) otherwise you might bring harm on yourself or your property. Essentially these kids just don't care, and will do anything to get kicks, especially if they are under 16 like our lot are.

Good luck.
Tuesday 30 August 2005 10.16pm
It must be distressing OKR. But really: 'Dont get yourself linked to the police'? Is this what it's come to? Good luck, anyway.
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