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CCTV call after youths wreak havoc

PUBLISHED: 13:12 16 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 March 2010

YOUTHS from out of town have been wreaking havoc and causing thousands of pounds damage on Felixstowe seafront - leading to calls for CCTV.

Traders and residents are demanding the closed-circuit cameras after a series of what police describe as "nasty incidents" this summer.

YOUTHS from out of town have been wreaking havoc and causing thousands of pounds damage on Felixstowe seafront – leading to calls for CCTV.

Traders and residents are demanding the closed-circuit cameras after a series of what police describe as "nasty incidents" this summer.

Local youths have been joined by teenagers from Ipswich and Stowmarket in the leisure centre area at night, fighting, intimidating people and vandalising shops.

Police have increased patrols to combat the troublemakers, who have come out in force due to the lighter evenings, fine weather, school holidays and drink.

Daniel Bailey, a shopkeeper in Undercliff Road West, has suffered late night disturbances and vandalism including people urinating through his letterbox during the last few summer weeks.

He welcomes the idea of CCTV and said: "We definitely need it. The area round here at night time, especially round here is abysmal."

Mr Bailey, 32, who lives above his shop West End Stores, with his wife and their five children, said he can hear gangs of youths shouting, swearing, fighting and smashing bottles until the early hours of the morning.

"Some nights we can't even sleep, we have to stay awake until they have all gone home. It seems to get later and later," he said.

Cars behind Mr Bailey's shop have been scratched, hubcaps removed and the remains of a couple's sexual antics have been found on the bonnet of his van.

David Woodmansee, who owns three businesses in Undercliff Road West, has gathered around 400 signatures for his petition to get CCTV fitted in problem areas such as Felixstowe's sea front and Hamilton Road.

He is writing to Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer and the district council to ask for action as vandals have caused £2,800 of damage to his shops including, The Conservatory café, since January.

Suffolk Coastal submitted a bid to the government last year for funding for CCTV but were refused.

Felixstowe police commander Insp Andy Bushell said extra patrols had been put on the seafront this summer to deal with the problems and reassure residents.

"These are youngsters aged between 16 and 19 and they have been causing problems, some of them quite nasty incidents. We have dealt with a variety of offences, including nuisance and harassment, drunkenness and damage."

A regular influx of around 20 youngsters from Ipswich and Stowmarket has exacerbated the problems but there had been about ten arrests for various offences, some of which had already been dealt with by the magistrates' court's fast-track process.

n At least ten youngsters from Felixstowe are understood to have been put on a new county nuisance blacklist aimed at cutting anti-social behaviour.

When a person's name is added to the Youth Nuisance Register, letters are sent to parents and they stay on the list for six months and are then removed if they stay out of trouble.

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