Are yobs too cocky for their own good?

PUBLISHED: 08:32 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:16 15 June 2010

AS the owners of Lace Walk in Honiton consider calls for the shopping centre to be gated off at night, louts have found a new way to abuse the retail site.

AS the owners of Lace Walk in Honiton consider calls for the shopping centre to be gated off at night, louts have found a new way to abuse the retail site.They are using an area outside the main centre, at the side of Co-op, for drinking sessions.And their antics are not just confined to the evenings.Shoppers complained to the Herald when a group of around six youths rooted themselves to the spot and started drinking last Thursday - in broad daylight.Bottles of beer were openly consumed from around 11am."It's intimidating and a very poor show for Honiton's image," said one disgusted shopper, who asked not to be named."They may think they are tucked out of sight at the side of Co-op, but everybody using Lace Walk car park can see what's going on."They look about 16 or 17 years old and must be very cocky to drink alcohol so openly in a public place."The shopper said he was concerned the area being abused was in a spot that could not be gated off.Nearby residents reported a district council workmen had spoken to the youths, only to be told: "There's nothing you can do; this is private property."Police were tipped off at around 11.30am.Your Herald, called to the scene by angry shoppers, observed a police van arrive within minutes - but the youths had gone.They had taken their empty beer bottles with them, leaving little more than a sweet wrapper blowing in the wind.By-laws prohibit the consumption of alcohol in some public open spaces in Honiton, including Allhallows Playing Field.Clem Dobson Associates, who manage Lace Walk, have indicated to police that they are investigating ways of reducing anti-social behaviour in the area, Honiton Town Council has been told.


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