ASB action in Dearne

POLICE are stepping up action against a young gang of yobs, who terrorise a neighbourhood.

Last year, Thurnscoe made national headlines when one teen gangleader was named and shamed in court and dubbed Britain’s biggest brat.

Now, local cops are determined to stamp trouble down before it escalates.

Out-of-line kids have received a stack of anti-social behaviour letters, with three 12 to 14 year olds handed ABC contracts in a bid to calm their behaviour before they get to full ASBO level.

Tasking officer Allan Sneddon who is based at Goldthorpe police station said the Safer Neighbourhood team has rigged a CCTV camera at one ‘hotspot’ by Houghton Road, stepped up police presence and made calls to evening functions. Residents have received crime prevention advice, with alarms fitted to outbuildings.

Villagers voiced their fears about yobbery and nightly gang sprees at a crime and safety group meeting at Thurnscoe’s Rainbow Centre last week.

Elderly folk who live in bungalows at areas such as Park Court complained of being targeted. Their gardens and sheds are invaded frequently, they said.

And kids think it’s funny to hurl stones, mud or snowballs at cars and passers-by - in one case they completely shattered a van window, said Mr Sneddon.

Shoppers at the Asda store have also been troubled by ‘threatening’ gangs.

“These are local kids - in some cases only 10 or 11 years old”, he said. “Sometimes they just clamber on the top of people’s sheds but they shouldn’t be there and it frightens old folk. They either comply with their contracts now or things move on to a more serious stage. We won’t let bad behaviour continue”.

A recent re-organisation of SNTs has seen Allan Sneddon, based at Goldthorpe police station, reduce his area to take in Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton, but relieve him of Wombwell and Darfield.

He said: “This is part of a restructuring. But I like to keep in touch with people by attending every crime and safety meeting - there are four groups in this area, and now I can give a full service.

“This part of the Dearne is busy all year. Recently we have had two murder investigations along with the more minor crimes”.