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Youngsters with guns frighten families

PUBLISHED: 13:15 11 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

GUN-TOTTING youngsters are putting families in fear on a housing estate and residents today warned someone could be seriously injured or killed unless they are stopped.

GUN-TOTTING youngsters are putting families in fear on a housing estate and residents today warned someone could be seriously injured or killed unless they are stopped.

One family believes their double-glazing prevented a pellet from hitting one of their children.

Police investigating the incident in which a house was shot at and damaged today appealed for anyone with information or who saw people acting suspiciously in the area to get in touch with them immediately.

Householders on the Farmlands estate at Trimley St Mary say the youngsters are treating the situation as "a joke" and do not realise the danger they could be causing with the weapons.

Today The Evening Star offered a £500 reward to help catch those involved in the incidents and bring them to justice.

Neil Davey said his youngest son Adam, ten, had been playing in a room in their home in Farriers Whent when there was suddenly a crack and the window shattered. He then heard giggling as the culprits ran off.

The double-glazed window's outside pane was broken but the pellet fortunately did not penetrate the inner pane.

"I came out straight away and there was a group of youngsters running away but I couldn't catch them," said Mr Davey.

"I then had a good look round the area and I spoke to a group of youths on the High Road, but they denied it. They just thought it was funny – a joke.

"If we had had only a single-pane window that pellet would have gone straight through and without a doubt would have hit my son.

"He could have been seriously injured or even worse. Air guns are not toys and can be quite powerful, especially a pistol fired just a couple of feet from a window like that.

"Adam was terrified and would not go to sleep because he was so worried they would come back and do it again."

Mr Davey, who lives with his wife Dawn and their older son, Jason, 13, said the family had lived on the estate for 19 years. There had been few problems with youngsters – just minor vandalism around the area – in the past.

However, he believed the area could be made safer by closing the footpath from The Kempsters to the High Road, which provides gangs of youngsters with a short-cut through the estate.

One family in The Kempsters is said to have their home shot at twice in three weeks and another property in Farriers Whent is also understood to have been attacked.

A police spokeswoman said today that officers had only had one incident reported to them and appealed for others to report any incidents in which they believed their home to have been fired at.

"We would appeal for anyone who witnessed the incident in Farriers Whent at around 8.30pm on Tuesday to get in touch with us, or anyone who is aware of people using air guns where they should not be," she said.

"We would remind people that these weapons can be dangerous, especially if used in the wrong place or by children who are not supervised."

Anyone with information should contact Pc Clint Ablitt on 01473 613500.

n Anyone who has had their home attacked with an air rifle or suffered vandalism on the Trimley estate should contact the Felixstowe Evening Star newsdesk on 01394 284109.

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