Fears over teenagers on rampage

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TEENAGERS are rampaging through the gardens of Burnfoot and residents feel helpless to stop it.

That was the message relayed to police at a meeting of Burnfoot Community Council on Tuesday night, where it was heard that youngsters are running amock – and complaining is viewed as pointless.

The issue was raised after community beat officer Steven Sutherland’s admission that although the number of calls made from the estate had increased over the past two months, the problems had not been caused by youngsters.

“The significant number of calls was mainly due to anti-social behaviour which was actually caused by adults having parties and playing loud music,” he revealed. And highlighting a positive aspect of the statistics, he stated: “We’ve not had one single youth call to the shops.”

However, Community Councillor John Rudkin was the first of several members to point out where teenagers were causing trouble. “All of us are having a problem with kids running through our gardens,” he said.

Community Councillor Anne Knight said she too had witnessed it, stating: “These are not little kids either, they are big kids jumping fences as they go.”

And further illustrating the problem, chairman Richard Knight commented: “We found people jumping about on our trampoline in the back garden, which is unbelievable. We need to get this stamped out before we have large groups hanging about at the shops again, which we worked hard to stop.”

Community beat officer Sutherland did say that such issues were being caused by a small minority, but despite encouraging the public to report incidents, conceded that such calls were not deemed a priority. “We have been getting complaints that the police are not turning up within an acceptable time, but we respond as best we can,” he said.

Mr Rudkin replied: “We’re not allowed to get a hold of them, or take their photographs, so basically they are going to get away with murder and nothing can be done about. But we are all suffering.”

It was agreed to approach the Escape Youth Cafe to ask about youth workers operating in the area, and also speak to the community wardens.