Youth worker could ease village tensions

A YOUTH worker may be drafted in to talk to gangs of young people whose gatherings have been worrying residents in Trimley St Mary.

A YOUTH worker may be drafted in to talk to gangs of young people whose gatherings have been worrying residents in Trimley St Mary.

Inspector Steve Gallant, of Felixstowe police, has also agreed to increase patrols in the area and has assigned Special Constable Gavin Smith, of the newly established Special Constabulary Drug and Alcohol Enforcement Team, to look at the problems.

SC Smith met parish and district councillor Graham Harding for an evening walk around the area to get a full understanding of the situation and see what was happening, and a patrol plan is being formulated.

As previously revealed in The Evening Star, villagers have been upset by a gang of around 50 teenagers - some drunk - meeting on the green near the shops in Faulkeners Way.

They asked the police to sort out the problem, but Insp Gallant said while the police can be involved, the community needs to work together on a solution and provide activities the youngsters want.

“Youth congregation is a community problem. I did question the parish council about what they were doing to seek to provide youth activities in their local area, and I thought that the response I was given indicated that they were certainly going to have further discussion on the situation,” said Insp Gallant.

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“I unquestionably acknowledge that community issues are also policing issues and we have a statutory duty and moral obligation to play our part in the solving of these issues.

“I also acknowledge that young people hanging around, drinking and damaging property is a significant issue and one that needs to be addressed and is best addressed by a multi-agency approach. Police moving them on is not a sustainable solution to an enduring situation.”

Councillor John Goodwin has taken up the idea of a detached youth worker and it is hoped someone can be appointed soon.

What activities would you like in the village? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk