Smoking drugs, starting fires and playing with knives - Preston Family tells of anti-social behaviour hell
A family fear they may driven out of the area they live in as a result of a plague of anti-social behaviour by youths as young as eight.
The husband and wife and 16-year-old daughter – who want to remain anonymous – say their lives are being made a misery.
The 44-year-old dad-of-one, an ex army Paratrooper who lives in Ribbleton, Preston, claims the problems centre around nearby Lancashire County Council-run Moor Nook Youth and Community Centre.
He claims:• Children as young as eight are smoking cannabis.• Children play fight with Stanley knives.• Youths are starting fires.• Drug dealers pull up in cars.• Youths dish out verbal abuse.
The man said his wife was almost hit on the head by a brick thrown at his property and says he is at his wits end because, despite reporting incidents to police on numerous occasions, nothing is being done to stop them.
He has written to Preston MP Mark Hendrick, who in turn has sent a letter to Lancashire Police outlining his constituent’s complaints and asking what will be done.
The resident, who has rented the detached family home for the last nine months, said: “I’ve rung the police fifteen or twenty times.
“Children as young as eight are taking cannabis. They’re play fighting with Stanley knives.
“A brick was thrown into my garden just missing my wife’s head.
“I’m so stressed out with what’s going on I wrote to the MP.”
The former soldier, who suffered spinal injuries and claims an army pension, has tours of duty in Northern Ireland under his belt.He says he cannot understand why the police are not taking action.
“I feel like I’m wasting my time,” he said.
“I’ve been told by neighbours if I keep reporting these children, I’ll be driven out of the area.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police was unable to comment on the specific issues raised by the resident, but said: “The term ‘anti-social behaviour’ covers a range of offences including, but not limited to, vandalism, hate crime, fireworks misuse, hoax calls and alcohol or drugs being used or dealt in the street. It also includes reports of street drinking and begging.
“It can involve harm to an individual, to the wider community or to the environment, and can leave victims feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed.
“We understand that this can have a profound impact on victims and how safe they feel in their neighbourhood, and we – along with partners such as the fire service, social housing landlords and other community safety agencies – are committed to tackling this type of crime.
“Our neighbourhood officers regularly meet with residents and partner agencies to address community priorities and decide what will be done to tackle these.”
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We’re aware of the problems with anti-social behaviour in the area. We’re working with the police and other partners to offer targeted support through our children and family wellbeing service for the good of the community.”