Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hammer Mayhem in St Peters

Following-on from my request for reader ‘contributions’ to keep the weblog rolling, here’s a first, I hope, from Amy Jones – Thanks Amy:

"Last night a friend of mine who lives in Northdown Road, St Peters was woken at 1.00 am by the police to be told that a gang of young yobs wending their way from the Co-op in St Peters back towards the 'estate' off Westover Road had included his car window in the trail of mindless damage they were leaving behind them. Cars by St Peters Co-op, the bus shelter and cars 'en-route' had received the 'hammer treatment' as did the telephone box in Beacon Road by the bike shop. The police proudly told my friend that they had recovered the hammer. His thoughts are that a little bit of preventive policing might be more appropriate than reactive policing.

I have yet to tell him that whilst this gang were causing 'Hammer Mayhem' in St Peters, less than a mile away, no less than four police cars and eight police officers were sitting in the lay-by on Ramsgate Road by B&Q , stopping cars and ostensibly checking for 'insurance' and no doubt sniffing hard for alcohol on breath. Quite clearly our local police have different priorities to local people's priorities!"

Ed: Probably a traffic unit, which a comment on an earlier story suggested don’t ‘Do policing’ as we know it but focus on traffic offences instead. Very useful but we could do with more of the other type of police persons that “Do yobs” instead.

Incidentally, the average speed cameras have been reportedly turned on as you negotiate the A2 roadworks into London, quite a distraction and a worry if you are driving. A review of the Government's speed cameras policy was demanded yesterday after official statistics showed that only five per cent of crashes are caused by drivers breaking the speed limit.

Thanet Life


Chris Wells said...

There are some serious policing issues rolloing around Broadstairs and St peters at the moment, most of which can be traced back to the changes in the town following the wholesale extension of licensing hours. This type of mindless vandalism is happening more frequently, along with graffitti and shop window damage. The disruption continues until around 3-30 am as these mindless individuals wend their way home, as the pubs are open as late or later than nightclubs now.

Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so when opposing all the late licenses in the town. Call the police. Keep calling the police. Then call them again. Then and only then will we get some opposition to these licenses, which is difficult to orchestrate under this legislation we are now lumbered with, and some more action for patrols in the right areas. In the summer the police were brilliant about public order around the fireworks nights. It is the general background noise and irritation of anti social behaviour that is the target now, fuelled by the excitement of extended opening hours, as well as poor parenting, because many of these oiks are under age, which is harder to predict and control.

shernus said...

whilst i agree with chris wells comments that late licensing is a contributory factor to the problems of St Peters, as a resident I know first hand that the main contributors are St Peters born and bred ,the majority are underage ,have appalling family values ,do not go to school and are persistent to the destruction of the decent community of St Peters .
The police ,council ,social services and education board have been slow to non existent in responding to our very real concerns and have yet done very little to slow down the tide of anti-social behaviour in our area ,except in the last week ,some residents of Norman Road have started to apply more pressure by constantly phoning the police and council ,meeting with them ,writing to them and enlisting the help of Dr Stephen Ladyman M.P for Thanet South ,as a result we have seen 1 or 2 significant arrests ,the possibility of a cctv camera placed at the top of our road (only temporary) and the police actually respond to about 1 in 10 calls ,better than there previous 1 in 100 calls ratio and that’s not an exaggeration.
Much more needs to be done for sure ,and I ask the readers from St Peters to step up there efforts as it seems there are a lot of areas in Thanet competing for the attention of the police and only by applied pressure will anything be done ,I certainly will and I do for see a better future for us.

Anonymous said...

My mum lives in St. Peters at the top of Northdown Hill and I know there are plenty of young people who are not the pub drinkers Chris Wells talks of. These are kids, 14 year olds and thereabouts who probably drink White Lighting bought in a local shop. The parents are the problems (as are the shop keepers who sell liquor and smokes to kids) like the ones who allowed the kid to ride up and down Victoria Avenue & Whitfield Avenue today on a motorised board. No insurance, road tax and underage. No Police too. Perhaps I should have implemented a citizen's arrest?

Cllr David Green said...

Chris Wells makes two dangerous mistakes in one comment. The first is that as a Margate County Councillor, he assumes he knows the situation on the ground in St Peter's. From the comments above, he obviously doesn't. From the comments it sounds as though the situation in St Peters is similar to that in Central Ramsgate, with gangs of youths(both local and from further afield) roaming around, creating havoc. The second mistake is in allowing his prejudice against the new licensing laws to jump to conclusions concerning every antisocial behaviour problem.
In Eastcliff Ramsgate we are working across many agencies towards measures to combat the problems, including increased policing, security measures, checks on off-licenses and positive improvements to facilities. One can only do this from knowledge of the problem on the ground, not from prejudice.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

You don't have to be drunk to be a vandal. It's just the way things are going.... nobody gives a damn... not the parents, police or everyday folk. Even if they get arrested, they are let out to re-commit. Feral Youth? .... stupid bloody idiots who SHOULD KNOW BETTER!
My Tip .... move away from this area, to somewhere nice!

James Maskell said...

Dave criticises Chris for speaking on the issue of crime in St Peters because hes a Margate KCC Councillor and yet he seems to think he has more of a right to speak on it, despite being a Ramsgate TDC Councillor! Unless Im mistaken, Chris is a TDC Councillor in Viking ward, much closer to St Peters than Eastcliff.

As for the licensing point, Chris is right and I suspect a lot of readers agree with him from looking round their respective neighbourhoods, not just in St Peters. The new licensing laws affect crime due to longer opening hours.

Anonymous said...

James, you haven't taken note of the comments that this is a problem where 14/15 year olds are roaming the area, quite late at night, creating problems. 14 year olds don't generally go to the pub so how is that affected by licencing laws?

Chris Wells said...

I have taken note of the comments, and appreciate hearing the wider view. I hope you have engaged your own ward councillors onthis issue.

I had linked the disorder with recent problems in broadstairs itself, but am happy to accept there is an additional or even more fundamental issue local to this area.

I still retain the view (not prejudice) that liberalisation of licensing laws has added to disorder on the streets, and that where licences are later, youths who cannot get in are more likely to congregate and hang around where the action is. That is certainly true of broadstairs itself.

However, there are clearly other issues here about parental responsibility - knowing where their children are, caring where their children are?