Another example of Anti-Social Behavior is highlighted in todays "Sentinel" This particular story confirms to me that we have a City wide problem with this issue. Something needs doing now! If you haven't read the story click here: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Police-throw-book-stone-yobs/article-355127-detail/article.html
We live in Meir Hay and until recently we had a Section 30 dispersal order after a number of trouble filled months. We had quite a lot of young people both lads and lasses that had attached themselves to gangs. These gangs fought with the gangs off neighboring estates. Several Friday nights there were times that I was driving somewhere on would observe full on fights between these gangs and they would be all over residents gardens running in all directions. Police presence was regular and to be honest we could not have asked for better policing. The PCSO's were particularly helpful at this time as the y were constantly on the beat and aware of any flash points. Old people were afraid to use the local convenience store as youths were gathering around these shops, insults and bad language were common place. The Section 30 lasted for about six months and allow the police to disperse groups of more than two under 18 youngsters, if they were seen more than twice in a day they were arrested and taken home. I know many gang members and other youths were given and made to sign "good behaviour contracts". Mostly these worked and were effective but I also know of kids who were given these and had done no more than "just be out". Some residents thought it was a sledge hammer to crack a nut! Rob Flello (MP for Stoke South) instigated many community meeting to tackle the issue of Anti-Social Behaviour and I attended all these and was really struck by how big a problem this was and what some people were going through. These meetings worked, with out a doubt and it got people together facing up to the issue and talking about it. This is something that needs to be done in Stoke North, So come on Joan Walley and the councilors involved get your fingers out and get cracking down on this now! It's been a quiet twelve months around us but recently i have noticed gangs of youths hanging around the shops again, I'll let you know what happens if anything. One thing that did come out of this was that there is absolutely nothing for the young people in our area to do and whilst this does not condone their actions, you feel that if they had some facilities they would not have to hang around the streets. Let's all keep our eye on the Sentinel to see if this is going to be a bigger problem over the winter.