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Youths causing late-night terror

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:18 16 September 2010

RESIDENTS in a Beccles street have spoken of feeling terrorised in their own homes after a string of late-night drunken episodes.

Youths pouring out of the town pubs are being blamed for mindless vandalism, anti-social behaviour and general destruction in Alexandra Road.

RESIDENTS in a Beccles street have spoken of feeling terrorised in their own homes after a string of late-night drunken episodes.

Youths pouring out of the town pubs are being blamed for mindless vandalism, anti-social behaviour and general destruction in Alexandra Road.

And now a group of neighbours is considering setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme to help combat the problems that are turning every Friday and Saturday evening into a nightmare.

At the weekend, police were called after Lorraine and Steven Robinson's brick garden wall was partly destroyed in the latest flurry of incidents. At least six other walls have been knocked down in Alexandra Road and London Road.

Other crimes include trepassing on private property, fly-tipping, noise and bad behaviour, which has also been reported in Hungate.

Mr Robinson said he now faces a hefty £400 bill to replace his wall, while neighbour Zena Thorpe branded the youths a “lynch mob”.

Mrs Thorpe, whose young family is kept awake, said: “Friday and Saturday nights are the worst. Anything from midnight to 3.30am to 3.45am when a huge group of people seem to congregate. They are boys and girls and the language is revolting. They sit on our wall, throw kebabs into our garden, rubbish, pull up our plants...”

She added that she called the police recently after the group were screaming obscenities at each other and a fight erupted between the youths.

“I just can't believe the bare face cheek of it, the fact that they can do it and just like that, they're gone,” she said.

Carole Ward, who has also had her brick wall destroyed, said: “My wall wasn't an old wall, I'd had it re-built so they must have used real force to kick it down. It's not funny any more. I don't know whether they think in their idiot minds that it's ok to do it, that we'll get the walls replaced on our insurance, but when you consider the excess, the premium gets put up and you lose your no claims bonus, its not worth it. We have to fork out for the damage out of our own pockets.”

Trudy Exton said she felt more policing was needed at the weekends to stop the continual vandalism and bad behaviour.

It is thought Alexandra Road is used as a quick short-cut to both London Road and Peddars Lane.

Mrs Robinson said: “They are terrorising the neighbourhood and there are a lot of elderly people and children that live here. We dread our weekends now and we daren't confront them as we fear the worst.”

Mr Robinson added: “It's turning into destruction street. A lot of youngsters go out and have a good time and never cause any trouble. But it's just one group of people getting together and causing havoc.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said they were aware of the problems in Alexandra Road and have set the issue as a priority for the town's safer neighbourhood team.

She said additional patrols are to be deployed in that area, adding that police were working with town licensees via the pubwatch scheme and Waveney District Council licensing and environmental team to ensure that licensees are complying with the terms of their licence, as well as complying with noise requirements.

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