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Vandals put village under siege

ROWDY youths bringing fear to a village have sparked calls for a curfew.

ROWDY youths bringing fear to a village have sparked calls for a curfew.

Residents packing an Upton Parish Council meeting said they were afraid to go out after dark.

Resident Mike Buckley said: 'We don't want to leave our houses for fear of being burgled.'

Mr Buckley told councillors about problems at a bus shelter on Mill Lane near his home. He said: 'On a number of occasions people have smashed the tiles on the roof.

'The litter is dreadful. I have found beer bottles, cans and syringes.'

Another resident highlighted problems at the Chemistry Pits field behind the Wheatsheaf pub in Heath Road.

Joanne Hughes, of Heath Road, said: 'I come home from work and they are on the roof of my garage. We are constantly calling the police.'

After the meeting, at The Pavilion on Wealstone Lane, Cllr Eric Delaney said the parish council has spent about £6,000 repairing vandalism.

The council has had to put metal frames on the windows at The Pavilion and replace wooden supports with metal ones. Youths have also dug holes on the nearby bowling green.

The Parish Council paid for summer Vandaline patrols through the village but they cannot afford the facility throughout the winter months.

Cllr Delaney said: 'What we really need are patrols at night time, but that can only happen when the police have the men.

'There needs to be some sort of a curfew. I have heard that areas in Shropshire and Staffordshire have made use of new laws and I think the city council should follow their example.'

* THE Crime and Disorder Act allows local authorities and police to impose a curfew on youngsters under the age of 10 and anti-social behaviour orders for the older children.

Cheshire Constabulary spokeswoman Brenda Cowling said: 'The anti-social behaviour orders have to be imposed via the civil courts. The orders are put on individuals rather than having the effect of a blanket curfew.

'Evidence of anti-social behaviour has to be concrete before orders are issued and individuals have to be named.'

While none of these orders are in place in Cheshire, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council has put 24 in place and are reaping the benefits.

A spokesman for the Shropshire authority said: 'In our case it was the police authority who worked to get the orders put in place. We have found they have done an awful lot to bring peace back into the community by targeting those who are known to cause the problems.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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