We are no thugs claim youngsters

BRANDED as tearaways, youngsters living on an Ipswich estate blighted by petty crime and vandalism today defiantly claimed: "We're no thugs".However as the spoke, one parent whose son is subject to an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) called for others who make residents lives hell to be dealt with in the same way.

BRANDED as tearaways, youngsters living on an Ipswich estate blighted by petty crime and vandalism today defiantly claimed: "We're no thugs".

However as the spoke, one parent whose son is subject to an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) called for others who make residents lives hell to be dealt with in the same way.

She believes it would help solve the problems, which were highlighted in Monday's Evening Star, surrounding the troubled Queen's Way shopping parade.

Trina Crowley, mother of Thomas, 18, who is currently under an Asbo, said they are the most effective way of dealing with crime on the estate.

She said: "I think giving all the kids an Asbo would stop them. It's worked with my son because he's hardly been in trouble in the last few months.

"They do take notice of them but if they break it, take them away and punish them. That way they'll know where they stand and what they can and can't do.

Most Read

"It makes them think about what they're doing and it'll get the message through."

The youngsters themselves believe they have been unfairly tagged as "thugs", "louts" and "troublemakers" and want to give their side of the story.

Matthew Harrison, 16, of King's Way, said: "It really makes me angry when people call us things like thugs. They don't know what we're really like.

"If we hang around in a group of people they automatically think we're up to no good."

A 15-year-old girl, of Shackleton Road, added: "We're really not as bad as people make out. Some things do happen but sometimes we feel like we might as well do things because we've been accused of doing it."

Carly Turner, 14, of Shackleton Road, said: "It makes me angry to be called things like a thug and lout because at the end of the day we're all just kids.

"We're looking for something to do. If there's a big group of us they automatically accuse of things and we get targeted. I think we get punished more than we should do."

A 44-year-old man, of Shackleton Road, recently grounded his children, aged 15, ten, seven and three, to keep them out of trouble.

He said: "It's easy to say the kids are to blame for whatever is going on up here. Don't get me wrong, they are responsible for a lot of it. Nobody can say they didn't smash windows at Costcutter because I saw it but at the same time it's no good blaming them for everything.

"It's wrong to suggest they were responsible for the kebab shop leaving because that's simply not true. It's nonsense blaming the kids."

Marge Grant, 53, of Packard Avenue, believes it is the responsibility of the education department to step in, even if some of the youngsters are excluded from schools.

She said: "If people in the education department stopped condemning the kids and got off their backside to help us, we'd be able to help them.

"Some people only see the bad side of the kids and don't take the time to see the good side. We are the surrogate parents to these kids and we'll teach them right and wrong.

"We just need some resources from the council to get some people in to help us. The reason we've had so much trouble here this year is because we haven't had the staff.

"Last year we had a lot going on and that kept the children busy."

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter