Ipswich thugettes facing court action

TWO of the town's growing mob of “thugettes” are today facing justice as a crackdown on anti-social behaviour continues.Police and the borough council are currently enforcing a dispersal order in the north-west of the town to combat a plague of teenage yobs.

TWO of the town's growing mob of “thugettes” are today facing justice as a crackdown on anti-social behaviour continues.

Police and the borough council are currently enforcing a dispersal order in the north-west of the town to combat a plague of teenage yobs.

Two of the persistent pests are now set to be punished after pleading guilty to a range of charges including criminal damage, assaulting a police officer and harassment.

The pair of 17-year-olds, who cannot be named because of their age, joined forces to smash up two cars in Kerry Avenue on August 29, causing damage to windows and bodywork.

One of the teens - girl A - admitted spitting at a police officer after being arrested that night in Bramford Road.

She has also pleaded guilty to spitting at a family through the open window of their car as she rode past on her bike on June 15.

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Both teens are also set to face trial after pleading not guilty to a number of other alleged offences.

Girl A has entered not guilty pleas to the alleged harassment of a 17-year-old boy and a family, as well as a charge of common assault.

Girl B has also denied harassing a family and a 17-year-old boy with e-mails, calls and text messages.

Both were due to appear before magistrates at the youth court in Ipswich on Thursday, but their cases have been adjourned to January 5.

The dispersal order was put in place on the Whitehouse area at the end of October after complaints by residents, shops and schools.

A significant number of youths are said to be female, reflecting the rise nationally in the phenomenon of so-called “thugettes”.

For a six-month period until the end of April, police have the power to disperse unruly groups.

Other cases in the youth court on Thursday included a 13-year-old girl who has denied racially aggravated harassment towards a neighbour in Ipswich.

Have you been the victim of a crime by a person under 18? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

DESPITE the rise of the thugettes, youth offending in Suffolk has fallen 15 per cent over the last year.

The number of youngsters sentenced between April and September this year was 740 - compared to 868 during the same period in 2008. There has also been a drop of 15 per cent in first-time offenders.

Stephen Toye, the head of Integrated Youth Support and Youth Offending Services for Suffolk, said: “This is great news because it means fewer young people are starting off in life with a criminal record and that fewer people are being harmed by youth crime.

“All agencies that work with young people are united in working together in Suffolk to reduce youth crime and help youngsters make the most of their lives.

“This partnership approach is clearly working and we are making every effort to ensure this trend continues.”