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Public meeting called to tackle antisocial behaviour
RESIDENTS of a Southampton estate plagued by unruly youngsters on motorbikes will get to quiz police about the problem at a public meeting.
But residents complain the police and council are not doing enough to stamp out the antisocial behaviour.
The Daily Echo reported how grandad Derek Watts, 54, called police more than 15 times about yobs racing down a footpath next to his house every evening.
His eight-year-old granddaughter nearly got knocked over by one of the motorcyclists, who he says often ride without helmets and blacked-out number plates.
The gangs use the footpath alongside Derek’s home in Viking Close, Lordshill, to get to Five Acre Fields at speeds of up to 70mph.
Mr Watts warned: “It’s a death waiting to happen.”
Now Labour ward councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas are organising a public meeting to put the authorities on the spot.
Councillor Morrell said: “What may seem just a laugh to these youngsters is a terrible nuisance and danger for residents. The police have had some success but we hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity for residents and the agencies involved to arrive at a lasting solution.”
Councillor Don Thomas said: “Only by working together, and everyone taking responsibility – the community, the police, politicians, council agencies, each and everyone of us – can we seriously beat the menace of unlawful motorbikes in our area. Enough is enough”.
Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O’Connor has blamed a “retreat from the streets” by frontline police for letting antisocial behaviour spiral out of control.
But police in Southampton claim tackling motorcycles is one of their two main community priorities in Coxford.
The meeting is planned for Lord’s Hill Church in early November.
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