Community holds key to tackling tearaway gangs

INSP NICK BUTLER -- 'this is motiveless crime but it has a big impact'

INSP NICK BUTLER -- 'this is motiveless crime but it has a big impact'

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COMMUNITIES are vital in tackling gangs of anti-social teenagers causing trouble in the west of Hucknall, the police have declared.

Concerns have been voiced about groups of up to 20 who have been congregating on Ruffs Drive, Watnall Road and in the Salterford Road area.

They are thought to be behind a reign of criminal damage that has included car wing-mirrors being damaged, verbal abuse and vehicles being pelted with eggs.

Before Christmas, the lifeline car of a disabled resident in the area had its tyres slashed.

Now an appeal has gone out from Hucknall Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Simon Zacharia, who is calling on local residents to help identify the offenders and bring them to justice.

The plea has gone out via the innovative online tool, Neighbourhood Alert, which notifies users, by e-mail or text, of crime information, appeals and alerts in the town.

Hucknall’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, has backed PCSO Zacharia’s move.

He said: “We want to identify the people responsible for causing this trouble. We want to work with them and their parents to put a stop to it.

“This is motiveless crime but has a big impact on the victims.”

A Dispatch source said that some of the tearaways are as young as 13.

Officers have weapons at their disposal, including good-behaviour contracts, returning youngsters to their parents, fining parents and ultimately court prosecution.

A resident, who has asked not to be named, said: “We all need to come together to tackle this. The police and community protection officers (Ashfield District Council) are trying their best. But these youngsters need parental guidance.”

The issue is likely to be discussed at a meeting of the Reach Out Residents’ group at Holgate Comprehensive School on Tuesday (January 24).

Anyone with information about the Hucknall west troublecausers should contact the police on 101 or call the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.

A FRESH appeal has been made for Hucknall residents to notify the police about their crime concerns by filling in a Neighbourhood Priority Survey.

This can be done online at www.neighbourhoodprioritysurvey.co.uk or by picking up a copy from Hucknall police station.

It allows officers to map crime problems and target particular issues. Insp Butler would particularly like young under-18s to take part.