Police patrols stepped up to stop youngsters 'causing havoc' in Clayton

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Clayton villagers are (from left) Ian and Susan Hepton, Simon Greaves and John Summers demand action Clayton villagers are (from left) Ian and Susan Hepton, Simon Greaves and John Summers demand action

Police are to step up patrols in an area where teenagers throwing missiles at cars and joggers are causing misery for villagers.

Dog muck, plastic bottles and litter are among the items thrown at passers-by in Clayton. Now exasperated traders and residents are calling on parents to take more responsibility for what their children are doing. John Summers has run John R. Summers Family Butcher on Druids Street for 22 years. “Kids are causing havoc,” he said. “Before Christmas we noticed there was a lot more dog muck and couldn’t work out where it was coming from.”

When CCTV footage was checked, Mr Summers realised youths were causing the problem. “It’s disgusting,” he said.

He said problems had been escalating over the last few weeks and included youths tipping wheeled bins into the graveyard at St John’s Church, littering and damage to cars.

One customer told him plastic bottles had been thrown at her when she was out jogging and later her car was broken by youths throwing stones at each other. Another saw something fly through a taxi window as the driver stopped to collect a fare.

Mr Summers has been in regular contact with the local PCSO about the issues, but on Saturday he was forced to call 999. “We were just crossing the road to the pub and we saw a ten to 20-strong gang in the park and they’d put a plank of wood in the road. When a taxi slowed down for it, they just bombarded it with all sorts – dog muck, twigs. It’s a good job there’s not a drystone wall there or that’d have been over too,” Mr Summers said, adding he had been told about a similar incident the previous night. “It’s only a minority, but they’re causing mayhem,” he said.

“The police are chasing them away and that’s it. We need something a bit more draconian to sort it.”

“Parents could put a stop to this. Whilst they’re at home with their feet up watching TV, the rest of us are suffering because of their kids.”

Inspector Andrew Croasdale of the North Bradford Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: ‘‘We take incidents such as these very seriously, and in view of those at the weekend will be putting increased patrols in place around the park area.
‘‘The North Bradford Neighbourhood Policing Team has issued several anti-social behaviour warnings to local youths, and if their offending behaviour does not cease we will look to move towards full Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, or arrests where appropriate.
‘‘This is in addition to our engagement with the local youth club and advice provided at schools. We are also in discussions with partners to see what more can be done to tackle anti-social behaviour. 
‘‘I would encourage people to provide details of anyone they know involved in this offending behaviour to the NPT on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and we will act.’’

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