ALDERSHOT residents are demanding tough action against a group of unruly teenagers who are terrorising their community at night with street fights and vandalism.
People living in Tices Meadow say the authorities have failed to tackle the problem and that it is getting out of control.
Last weekend the windows of Andover Stores, Andover Way, were smashed for the third time in recent months.
This followed a trail of destruction by unruly youths, which includes broken fences, vandalised telephone kiosks and stone-throwing.
Shop proprietor Lawrence Duffy said things have got so bad that he was tempted to give up his business.
He fumed: “On Sunday morning we thought ‘what’s the point of it all?’
“We have been in the community 19 years and never experienced anything like this.
“We’re always out of pocket — each time it costs more than £600 but we only get back £260 on the insurance.”
According to residents the youths smashed two windows on Saturday evening and were then seen hurling themselves against them on Sunday evening.
Mr Duffy called on Rushmoor Council, the police and Pavilion Housing Association to find out the root cause for the trouble, and claims a lack of leisure facilities and parental control are contributory factors.
His wife Marion said many people on the estate were fed up of the tension being caused by a handful of youngsters.
She added: “It’s an ongoing problem. It’s intimidating and makes people’s lives miserable.
“Some customers don’t let their kids come this way round the estate because the group congregate here.”
The Parkside, Tices and Heronwood Residents Association was recently set up to help the youths by improving recreational outlets in the area.
Chairman Peter Sandy sympathised that police resources are stretched, but said they really weren’t doing enough.
“They’ve got to be stamped out — especially the ringleader — if it’s going to stop. What’s the point in me getting the names (of alleged
offenders) if the police don’t do anything? To succeed they’ve got to take out the ringleader.”
Mr Sandy also criticised Rushmoor Council, saying that they failed to understand the situation.
“I think the council should take more
He added: “They need to put in CCTV cameras and better lighting but when you speak to them they don’t want to know and you get despondent.”
He said everyone in the area was frustrated with the inaction.
“It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. It feels like you’re fighting a losing battle.”
He also called on parents to take more responsibility, saying some of them had ruined the last meeting set up to discuss the issues by shouting and heckling.
A window of Ticehurst residential home was also smashed during the evening.
A spokesman for Pavilion Housing said they sympathised with residents and were doing all they could to work in partnership with Rushmoor, the police and social services.
He said a meeting of the Community Safety Partnership was held on Wednesday to address the situation.
And he revealed that a 17-year-old has been repriman-ded by police and his mother faces eviction by Pavilion Housing Association.
The spokesman added: “For our part we have issued a Notice of Seeking Possession to the mother of this boy.
“This will allow us to take any further steps we feel are necessary, including court action.
However, we would like to stress that Mr Duffy must retain responsibility for the security of his own premises.”
He called on everyone to unite, saying parents are responsible for their children’s actions and that people should come forward with information.
A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said one of the teenagers had been cautioned.
He said that under legislation, anyone under 18 is given two warnings before they can be prosecuted.
Cllr Mike Roberts said he supported the action taken by Pavilion Housing Association.
“All of the troublemakers are housing association tenants. therefore it is the quickest and most effective way of dealing with it.”