Couple’s plea to tackle ‘feral youngsters’ causing havoc at Honiton park

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:17 08 February 2018

The secion of Allhallows where the youth meet to drink, smoke and play music. Inset: The damage left in the youths' wake. Main image: Google Maps

The secion of Allhallows where the youth meet to drink, smoke and play music. Inset: The damage left in the youths' wake. Main image: Google Maps

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The couple say the youths play loud music from a boom box for up to four hours each evening while swigging beer, smoking and making noise.

Damage has been made to Honiton's old cricket pavilion. Damage has been made to Honiton's old cricket pavilion.

A Honiton couple say they are reaching breaking point after a group of ‘feral youngsters’ congregate near their home each evening to drink alcohol and blast music.

The couple, who have asked to remain anonymous, say the youths play loud music from a boom box for up to four hours each evening while swigging beer, smoking and making noise.

The unsavoury behaviour takes place in a small walled section of Allhallows Playing Field near Silver Street.

The couple say while they appreciate that every town has its problem with anti-social behaviour, work should be done to provide a youth café or a similar facility for the teenagers.

The wife said: “There could be six to 18 kids at any one time.

“One time, they were asked if they could turn the music down. They did not speak, but cranked up the music.”

A message left for the youths who are thought to be behind damage to Honiton's old cricket pavilion. A message left for the youths who are thought to be behind damage to Honiton's old cricket pavilion.

The couple say they only get a reprieve when the weather is bad, as the youths are forced to gather under shelter somewhere else.

The husband said: “Usually, they huddle under a bit of shelter provided by the old cricket pavilion, but they don’t respect the building. They just kick the sides of the building in.”

The wife said she has called the police more than ten times regarding the disruption, adding: “I want the council and police to be aware of this problem.

“At the end of the day, some people would be intimidated by the kids.

“I would also like to know how children of these ages would be getting hold of beer. You’d like to think the police and council could put their heads together and provide somewhere for these kids to go and talk.”

Cllr John Zarczynski, chair of Honiton Town Council, said members of the East Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership had been ‘extensively’ discussing the problems at Allhallows.

Mr Zarczynski, who is deputy chair of the group, said: “We are trying to find ways of addressing these issues.

“One possibility is CCTV or night vision cameras - something of that nature.”

Mr Zarczynski said the town council is in the process of bidding for Honiton Youth Centre, adding: “If we are successful, we intend to do a lot more with it, and possibly provide an evening or night café facility for youngsters.

“The police are aware of the problems, as are the council. The members of safety partnership are very much aware of this and we are doing everything we can to relieve the problems that exist at Allhallows.”

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