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Teen Gangs On The Rampage

COUNCILLORS are to meet police and Outreach workers after residents from the Katherine's area of Harlow begged them to take action about the gangs of teenagers making their lives a misery.

COUNCILLORS are to meet police and Outreach workers after residents from the Katherine's area of Harlow begged them to take action about the gangs of teenagers making their lives a misery.

One resident whose property backs on to the Seymours play area was so worried about reprisals that he did not want to give his name.

'That would only make things worse,' he said.

'There are young lads riding motorbikes up and down the cycle paths, drinking and swearing, people are frightened to use their back gardens during the summer. Others have to keep their windows closed so they don't have to listen to the bad language.

'There's nothing we can say because if we do it gets worse ? I've had to repair my fence several times.

'People over 14 years of age shouldn't be using that play area after 8pm ? that's the law.

'But if we call the police it's anything up to three hours before they turn up ? by which time the kids have gone and there's nothing to see.'

'What we want is for the play area to be relocated or fenced off so that no-one can get in after 8pm.'

Councillors agreed to look into the cost of erecting a fence around the play area, although they expressed doubts about how effective that would be in keeping the youngsters out.

However, councillors refused to consider relocating the play area.

Councillor John Young said: 'Playgrounds have been under pressure for some time ? we spend a lot of money on them but we need to spend a lot more. If we spent £20,000 moving this play area it would mean leaving another playground elsewhere in the town in an unfit state.

'All we end up doing is creating a problem for someone else.'

Councillor Robert Long said: 'This is about the misuse of a play area ? that's the issue here. We need to organise a meeting between the residents, youth workers and the police. This can be resolved.'



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