Resort yobs targeted

GROWING concern over the antics of youngsters who are intimidating residents and visitors to Felixstowe seafront is today being tackled in a new project.

GROWING concern over the antics of youngsters who are intimidating residents and visitors to Felixstowe seafront is today being tackled in a new project.

Youths causing problems around the pier - one of the resort's traditional haunts for gangs of teenagers - are being told they could face Asbos and curfews to curb their activities.

Police have pledged to tackle the anti-social behaviour but say they cannot do it on their own.

Now they have drawn together a new group, including business owners from the pier area, town council officials, tourism chiefs, and Suffolk Coastal council's anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Ian Abery and community safety officer Guy Richardson.


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The group is to draw up a series of positive initiatives to get to grips with the problem - and all concerned hope it will do more than simply move the youngsters on elsewhere.

Felixstowe police commander Insp Neal Atwell said there had been problems of rowdiness, drinking, verbal abuse and vandalism around the pier, prom and leisure centre.

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Evidence would be gathered against the troublemakers with a view to seeking Anti Social Behaviour Orders and banning them from the area.

However, the gathering of gangs of youths did not always mean trouble - and often it was people's fear that something would happen.

"It can be a matter of perception - a fear of crime or that something will happen. That can put people off going to the area or walking through there, and the pier is one of our main areas for both residents and visitors," said Insp Atwell.

"We don't want Felixstowe seafront to have a reputation of being somewhere gangs hang out and not somewhere you want to visit.

"Everyone needs to work together to make sure that Felixstowe is a place people can come and enjoy themselves without fear."

He said the first meeting of the group had been "very positive" and lots of good ideas had come out of it.

"It was a very successful meeting and we are confident that we can deal with this situation if we work together. Everyone now understands the problem and is looking at how they can play a part in tackling it," he added.

n What do you think of the gangs around Felixstowe pier - what should be done? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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