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Coastal: Booze, boredom and drugs – three of the reasons behind vandalism in Suffolk Coastal

10:45 23 March 2014

Damage caused to the ice cream parlour at the Spa Pavilion - vandalism problems have been highlighted across the district.

Damage caused to the ice cream parlour at the Spa Pavilion - vandalism problems have been highlighted across the district.

Archant

Alcohol, drugs, boredom, and peer pressure have been identified as the key factors in incidents of vandalism caused by young people across the Suffolk Coastal area.

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Following initial research into problems suffered by some towns and villages, community leaders are to draw up plans to tackle vandals – and look at new ways to keep youngsters focussed on other activities.

Councillors Les Binns, Peter Coleman and Terry Eastman carried out the research, linking with a variety of organisations and groups.

Questionnaires were sent to town and parish councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner, youth forums in Felixstowe and Kesgrave, headteachers of primary schools and sixth forms at several high schools, Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and victims of vandalism.

Reporting on the work so far, Phillip Dunnett, chairman of the council’s scrutiny committee, said it was intended to make the review as wide-ranging as possible, considering what more might be done to prevent vandalism but also examining the extent of incidents in urban and rural communities, their causes and effects.

He said statistics indicated that the district experiences fewer incidents of vandalism than other areas.

Mr Dunnett said: “Some respondents to the letter were not aware of any vandalism in their area, though it was also evident that some locations experience more incidents than others.

“There appears to be a link to the night-time economy, with the majority of offences occurring during Friday and Saturday nights and on into the early hours of the morning. Other offences appeared to occur predominantly at the end of the school day and during school holidays.

“The member working group finds that evidence indicates vandalism to be linked to alcohol, drugs, boredom, and peer pressure.”

Felixstowe suffered most vandalism – with the seafront often targeted, creating a bad impression for visitors.

Mr Dunnett said: “The responses received generally – and not unsurprisingly – and demonstrate irritation, distress and a direct impact on quality of life.

“It is considered that the economy of the district may also be impacted upon if visitors and tourists feel sites of beauty are being spoiled.

“Similarly, the costs of repairs or replacement of items of public property may need to come from council budgets.”

While there were a number of projects to change anti-social behaviour running across the district and reports suggesting a “significant reduction” in rowdy and/or inconsiderate behaviour over the last year, more still could be done.

Ideas being considered included more school activities, graffiti walls to accommodate ‘artistic’ expression, youth shelters, and increased use of CCTV or webcams, and a report outlining action to be taken will be published in May.

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8 comments

  • The older generation point the finger at the young, but in recent months it’s the middle aged who have been seen brawling on the Seafront, and the incident at Orwell School last week. It's not my children’s generation that are causing the problems its mine those in their 40’s and 50’s. Who is to say it’s not the 40 pluses doing the vandalism.

    Report this comment

    martin

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Most young people are "rebels" to a point, my generation no exception. But one step too far and you regretted it, from parents, school and a respect for the police. Today we make excuses for these delinquents and pander to them, poor creatures. How about making them respect others and the world around them, instead of pandering to their limited ability to think for themselves, entertain themselves and behave responsibly? That starts at home for sure.

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    Disbeliever

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Old fashioned... but how about a bit of parental discipline. Today's young seem to grow up thinking they have to be entertained. Good old fashioned beat bobbies and parents who would give you a good week's grounding if one brought you home to their door. If we dare mention we were bored mum gave us a job to do!!!!

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • "Ideas being considered included..." more parental discipline might be a start.

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    Sarky Sage

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Woul discipline be coming from the same parents who set a fine example for their unfortunate offspring by vandalising the Orwell High?

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Git

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • The majority of our youth is well-behaved, full of enthusiasm and talent and respectful of other people's opinions. So...please do not assume that the small number of bad apples represents the whole barrel. I believe that if the authorities persist in leaving public buildings to rot, then it is hardly surprising that the bad apples vandalise and torch them. Instead of blaming all the youth in Felixstowe it might be more appropriate to blame the authorities for their woeful lack of care. Mind you, it could be a cunning plan by the authorities to shift the blame for their inadequacies on to an easily targeted group.

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • We all have 'energy' !, however it is the parents responsibility to make sure that their child grows up and 'channels' that energy into 'constructive' uses !, we all know where doing the opposite leads !!

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    freedomf

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Old fashioned... but how about a bit of parental discipline. Today's young seem to grow up thinking they have to be entertained. Good old fashioned beat bobbies and parents who would give you a good week's grounding if one brought you home to their door. If we dare mention we were bored mum gave us a job to do!!!!

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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