Town residents seek ban on abusive youths

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Byron Lane resident, and spokesman for his neighbours, Steve Grimshaw said it used to be a quiet road to live in but had become a living hell.The area became a focus for a gang of youths, both boys and girls who do not live in Byron Lane, four months ago.

Since then, Mr Grimshaw said, residents, visitors and passers-by have been treated disrespectfully, verbally abused and threatened physically.The disruption has included fighting in the street, littering the street with cans and bottles – and on one occasion barricading it off with pallet boards – playing loud music until dawn and intimidating people from young children to the elderly.Now the residents have started a petition to get the message home that they want something done to bring peace back into their lives.Mr Grimshaw said: ‘It began four months ago with boys and girls, ranging in age from 14 up to their 20s, hanging around in the lane, drinking and carrying on.

Then they’d go off for an hour or two and come back.’Then the abuse started.

They started getting cocky and were seen sniffing glue in the street.

I can’t repeat the words they use, they are vile.

I’m a building worker and if builders used that language on my site they’d be off.’It’s got to the point where friends won’t come round as they are intimidated by them.’Mr Grimshaw said they had considered taking matters into their own hands but believed they would probably end up in court.He paid tribute to the police, who he said have done the best they could to help.

The area has been subject to regular patrols for weeks and action has been taken against some of the perpetrators.’We started the petition about ten days ago because the police said it may help.

It’s embarrassing every time I have to pick up the phone and call them but they always come round and they’ve advised us what to do.

The police have been very supportive..’He also said the Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, had asked to meet the residents and the honorary police were also aware of the problems in the lane.At present, Mr Grimshaw said, the police approach was working well and the last week had been comparatively quiet, but from past experience he fears the problem will recur.’It just keeps coming in waves,’ he said.

‘The aim of our petition is to make sure there’s an injunction on those who don’t live in our street not to visit here.’So far he has collected 34 signatures.Chief Inspector Kevin McKerrell is dealing with the complaints.

He said: ‘We have been aware of incidents being reported in the area and there have been some arrests and matters dealt with over recent weeks.’We’ve increased our patrols, which appears to have had a very positive impact resulting in an absence of further complaints.

We will, however, continue to conduct our patrols and look to work in partnership with the residents there to resolve any problems of anti-social behaviour.’

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