Trouble being caused by young people in Newport town centre appears to have continued this week despite the many arrests of young people made over the weekend, including four 12 year old boys.
Not exclusive to the area just outside McDonalds, there are reports on social media of youths running through Morrisons knocking items off the shelves and causing havoc, as well as difficulties in Co-op.
Last night on the Isle of Wight Community Information Group on Facebook, one resident stated:
Large group of youths causing problems in Co-op Newport, deliberately trying to aggravate staff and security, and one of the lads in the group talking about punching a staff member in the face.
Gathering to ‘deter’ anti-social behaviour
Another post, from a former youth worker in inner cities, last night invited views from others on whether a group of adults should gather outside McDonalds (see here).
Darren Galpin asked whether anyone was interested in gathering outside McDonalds “to deter these youngster from engaging in anti-social activity”, adding “it is our community and rather than lamenting how powerless we feel we can take a stand as citizens and try to do something about it”.
Meet this Friday
Making it clear that he’s not suggesting vigilantism, but rather a plan to “explain to them that their behaviour is not acceptable and that we are standing our ground in protecting our local community”, Darren says he hopes to have “dialogue with some of the youngsters so we might better understand why all this group disorder is happening”.
Following feedback on the Facebook post Darren invites anyone interested in getting involved to meet in Costa Coffee at 5.30pm on Friday to discuss the way forward.
As you would expect on social media there have been mixed responses to Daren’s suggestion.
Some people have praised him for his attempt to bring the community together to tackle the problem, others advise him to leave to the police to deal with.
Many have said the young people hang around outside McDonalds for the free WiFi, whilst others say intervention will just move on to be a problem somewhere else.
Isle of Wight Police have had a more active presence since last year and say they will take robust action when needed, as anti-social behaviour has a dramatic impact on the wider community in public spaces.
Operation Varney was introduced early 2018 to tackle anti-social behaviour of adults and children in the town centre.
Police stated that it was an ongoing priority for Newport’s Neighbourhood Policing Team and colleagues in the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership.
Advice for parents of under 18s
If you have children under the age of 18 please help us by following this advice:
- Before they go out, find out what your children are doing, where they are going, and when and how they will be getting home.
- Sometimes children do not consider the consequences of their actions, so ask them to think about whether they could be causing distress to others, damaging the environment or putting themselves in danger.
- Often children do not need to buy alcohol, they take it from home without their parents’ knowledge. Keep alcohol in a safe place and keep a check on how much you have, so that you will know if any goes missing.
- Young people are also often the victims of disorder, so if you or your child experience anti-social behaviour, make sure you report it to the police. We cannot send officers to every incident, but if you let us know what is happening in your area, we can make sure our resources are targeted effectively.
For more information please visit the Website.