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INFRA red cameras are being used to spy on vandals who are creating mayhem on three Aldershot housing estates.

INFRA red cameras are being used to spy on vandals who are creating mayhem on three Aldershot housing estates.

The photographs are often being shot at night by Pavilion Housing Association officials in an effort to build up evidence against the troublemakers.

News that pictures were being taken was revealed this week as fed up residents called for tough action against the yobs.

Dawn Matthews-Smith, Pavilion Operations Director, said they were targeting the "tiny minority" of troublemakers.

The incriminating photographs, she continued, would help the association to take a "clear and stronger line against the perpetrators".

Peter Sandy, chairman of the local residents' association, welcomed Pavilion's use of photographic evidence.


He said: "Something has to be done because life on these estates has become almost intolerable.

"All these children live round here, and parents must be made to take responsibility for how they behave.

"I understand Pavilion will threaten them with eviction if they don't keep their youngsters under control."

Mr Sandy believed there were four or five gangs who were the hardcore troublemakers.

"You've only got to walk round here to see what they've been up to," he said. "They wreck telephone boxes, smash windows and vandalise just about everything in sight."

In his opinion part of the problem is the lack of recreational facilities for young people on the estates.

As a start he would like to see a skate-park and a meeting place for youngsters built in the area. "This would help keep them off the streets," said Mr Sandy.

Inspector Gerry Hutchings, Aldershot's police chief, said they were sending in extra patrols to try to curb the vandalism.

"We arrested a number of youngsters and that appeared to calm the situation," he said last Friday. "But the problem seems to have reared its head again."

Residents will be given a chance to voice their concerns at a meeting on Dec 4 called by the association.

Rushmoor councillors, Pavilion officials, police and youth workers have been invited to attend the meeting at the Ticehurst Residential Home in Whitchurch Close.

PICTURE: Peter Sandy points out some of the wanton destruction and has called for more recreational centres to keep youngsters busy. Pavilion says the families will be evicted if they don't keep children under control.


Charlotte Neal
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