Behave or else warning to Honiton louts

PUBLISHED: 10:26 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 01:14 16 June 2010

POLICE in Honiton say they are taking positive action to curb the antics of a small group of youths whose anti-social behaviour is causing misery to local residents.

POLICE in Honiton say they are taking positive action to curb the antics of a small group of youths whose anti-social behaviour is causing misery to local residents.

As fed up victims in the Millers Way area call for a police clampdown on the troublemakers, Sergeant Martin Burrow has revealed the youths, believed to be in their late teens and early 20s, have been identified. Each of the suspected offenders has been sent a letter, the first step in the escalation process to an Anti Social Behaviour Order.

If the youths fail to change their behaviour, information about them will be "shared with other agencies", police say.

"We are actively going to target this group," Pc Ian Atyeo told the Midweek Herald.

"A senior police officer is also to be asked to sanction dispersal areas in the town, where we can take tough action if two or more people are behaving in a way that intimidates or harasses others."

It is understood dispersal zones could be established for up to six months in Allhallows Playing Field and at other specified locations in Honiton.

Sean Brown, 37, of Millers Way, is keen to see police take action. He was out walking his dog one night last week when he was confronted by two gangs of youths.

"They were swearing at each other and I told them to clear off," he said.

"My vehicles were damaged when they started fighting. A wing mirror and wipers were knocked about. This is a nice area but, for some reason, it attracts youngsters who drink in the Bowling Green play area and then cause trouble."

Mr Brown is miffed that the youths always seem to disappear before police arrive. "It is easier for the police to park up and catch motorists going ten miles over a speed limit in a non-built-up area," he added.

Sergeant Burrow said: "Following a recent increase in reports of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Honiton, we have issued several people with warning letters.

"These letters ensure that the people concerned are aware of the impact their behaviour has on the local community and how it causes distress to residents.

"It provides us with the appropriate platform to provide defined sanctions on anyone who continues behaving in a similar way.

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