Deputy: ‘Where are the bowling alleys?’

A POLITICIAN has called for more amenities in town for young people after a bank closed its out-of-hours lobby following issues with groups of teenagers.

HSBC Halkett Street. Picture: James Jeune (30117734)
HSBC Halkett Street. Picture: James Jeune (30117734)

Deputy Kevin Pamplin made the comments after HSBC confirmed it had closed the lobby at its Halkett Street branch due to recent anti-social behaviour.

A spokesperson for the police said there had been ‘a number of nights’ where teenagers had been congregating in the area and ‘causing some issues’.

They added: ‘We are aware who they are and we are working with partners to try and alleviate these issues.’

Deputy Pamplin said that the incident was indicative of a wider issue for young people across the Island.

‘I grew up in town and I used to go to Seaton Youth Club and we had Funland and there was stuff to do and locations for young people to go,’ he said. ‘Of course there was anti-social behaviour, that’s just a fact of life, but you would have smaller isolated groups and you’d be able to give them pathways and opportunities to give them another choice. Over the years all those places have gone. There are the youth centres but it’s not the same and it’s not enough.’

He added that the pandemic had exacerbated the issue and exposed the ‘fewer choices’ available for young people.

‘Of course, that doesn’t excuse this type of behaviour, but equally we have to understand the behaviour and why it is leading to that, otherwise we will just keep going round and round in circles.

‘Youth clubs serve a function but they are not the definitive answer. Where are the bowling alleys? Where are the arcades? Where are the places to stimulate young people to get involved and to do stuff? Everything’s out of the way – the bowling alley is in St Peter, the rugby club is out in St Peter.

‘This is a problem that has been building for many years, as much as we are all saying that we are bored now. It’s more deep-rooted in behaviour and where young people are being let down they are making these poor choices and that saddens me.’

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