Sun, 10 Jan 2021
CRIMINAL damage, fighting, underage drinking – Hungerford’s neighbourhood police team was busy tackling a surge of antisocial behaviour at the end of 2020.
But some residents are fed up with the apparent lack of consequences for repeat offenders.
At the first virtual full town council meeting of the new year on Monday, members expressed frustration at the inability of the system to deter those responsible.
But it was apparently not for want of trying on the part of the police, according to a monthly report which acknowledged the problem and said, specifically: “Over the last month we have had several varying reports of antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.
“These are centred mainly in the area of The Croft and Hungerford’s rugby club.
“We have dispersed youths from these areas and confiscated alcohol.
“These areas are being regularly patrolled by the team.”
Meanwhile, in the early hours of January 1, officers were called to a fight outside the One Stop shop in Fairview Road.
Town councillor John Downe expressed concern at “increased lawlessness”.
Mayor Helen Simpson said: “It seems to be the usual group of youngsters known to us for some time.
“I’ve asked for [police] patrols to be stepped up.
“There’s a lot of concern at The Croft field – at the dentist, the tennis club, the Scout hut, that whole row.
“They’re smashing bottles, littering... this group is known to the police, who are doing what they can to address the issue.
“But there seems to be little consequence to their continued antisocial behaviour. It feels like they get a telling off and are told to move on – and next night, they’re back.
“However I’m being assured that everything that can be done is being done.”
She added: “It’s only petty crime but if that isn’t checked, what does it lead to?”
Meanwhile, last November, two house boats were burgled and lead was stolen from the roof of Hungerford Primary School.
A suspect has been arrested for the latter offence.
The neighbourhood police team also revealed that in late December pickpockets were stealing wallets and purses in the town’s Tesco store.
The team has offered to provide purse bells and security clips to all shoppers at the customer services area.
The police team has urged residents to report each crime to them, rather than just post on social media.
You can report crime online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call the team via the non emergency 101 number.
n HAVE you been affected by antisocial behaviour? Do you think the courts are tough enough on young offenders? Email firstname.lastname@example.org