At least three youngsters have been asked to sign anti-social behaviour contracts after Kirkby Library had to be shut early due to intimidation of staff and members of the public.
A meeting of Ashfield District Council Kirkby Area Committee heard the library had to shut 20 minutes early with customers still inside to protect staff and public from the gang’s anti social behaviour and intimidation.
Police have identified the main trouble makers and three of them have signed anti-social behaviour contracts (ABCs) with another in the process of being issued.
Leader of Ashfield District Council councillor Cheryl Butler said the council had issued the contracts in partnership with the police. The contracts are issued for low level anti-social behaviour and are reviewed every three months.
She said: “We will be looking at what they have done in that time and will work with the families if anything else happens.”
”There was just one incident at the library - it must have been scary and they did the right thing to protect themselves. We then dealt with the situation.”
Peter Gaw, chief executive of Inspire, which oversees libraries said: “Our Customer Service Standard outlines our commitment to library users, which in turn asks that our visitors are respectful and courteous towards our staff, tolerant and considerate towards our other service users as well as being considerate of the building and its resources.
“Unfortunately, we have recently had a series of incidents at Kirkby Library which we take very seriously.
“The safety of our staff and customers is our priority and we are working with local police and the community safety team, providing a security guard during vulnerable times of the day and installing CCTV.”
The council meeting heard there were also problems of gangs congregating around Ellis Street and the derelict land on Pond Street causing issues for shop owners and residents.
A store worker who did not want to be identified told Chad :”We are continually having to clean graffiti of our windows and they damage our walls by jumping on them.
“They congregate after school and sit in the car park. Some of them defecate there and leave it in a filthy state.
“The other week I could smell they were smoking cannabis. “The kids could do with a youth club - there is nothing for them to do.”
Independent councillor Jason Zadrozny said: “My feeling is that this is just a sticking plaster over the problem and we simply need more high-visibility people patrolling our streets. Residents deserve to feel safe in their streets, parks and town centres. The council has a legal duty to keep people safe, but also to make people feel safe. They are clearly failing in this duty.”