ANTISOCIAL behaviour – allegedly involving young children – is ‘getting out of hand’ on a St Saviour estate, a resident has warned – despite an increased police presence in the area.
The JEP has spoken to several Islanders living in Les Cinq Chênes, who did not wish to be identified for fear of retribution and are buying cameras to ‘secure’ their homes.
One resident described the area as a ‘war zone’, in which children were throwing stones and damaging property.
The States police are carrying out regular patrols at Les Cinq Chênes at Five Oaks and the Community Policing Team is working with residents, businesses and other agencies to try to address the issue.
One of the Centeniers for the parish, Tim Ruane, said he was aware of incidents involving ‘unruly’ children who were throwing stones and running away. ‘It’s hard to pinpoint and the trouble is by the time you get there they are all gone.
‘There have been increased patrols. The States police constantly go up there,’ he added.
He said it was difficult to estimate the ages of those involved, but noted that some of the children were ‘certainly’ under 12 years old.
One resident told the JEP the situation was ‘getting out of hand’.
‘Kids have been breaking windows and throwing eggs, throwing stones, damaging cars – the place is like a war zone.
‘Something has to be done because it is getting really bad now,’ they said.
‘We are all buying cameras to secure the properties – it’s not a safe place,’ the resident added, estimating that the youngsters involved ranged between six and 16 years old.
Another resident said the increased police presence had made ‘no difference at all’.
‘They [the officers] are as good as gold – they talk to the residents and they do their patrols but these kids are making a mockery out of them,’ they added.
A police spokesperson said: ‘The Community Policing Team are working in partnership with residents, businesses and agencies to understand and address incidents of antisocial behaviour in Five Oaks.
‘The St Saviour community officer, PC Henry Woolley, and other officers regularly patrol the area with the aim of preventing incidents and reassuring residents, workers and visitors that police take antisocial behaviour seriously.’
They added: ‘PC Woolley encourages everyone to report incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime to the police, or provide information with complete anonymity through Crimestoppers. Antisocial behaviour is when someone’s behaviour causes harassment, alarm or distress to others who are not of the same household as the person causing it.’
An Andium Homes spokesperson said: ‘Les Cinq Chênes is our site and we are aware of some issues relating to alleged antisocial behaviour, although it is certainly not clear that this is necessarily being caused just by estate residents. These issues are, quite rightly, being handled by the police, supported by us and other statutory agencies such as the Children’s Service.’
They explained that, as the landlord for the homes, they did not have the statutory powers to addressantisocial behaviour ‘in the way that the police can’.
‘Our powers, such as they are, are limited to eviction – but only if the antisocial behaviour relates to a tenant – even then this is a lengthy and often complex process which is ultimately determined by the courts, not by us,’ they said.
‘The message we want to give residents is that we are keen to know about instances of antisocial behaviour that impact on them and we will support the police in addressing those issues.
‘What is vitally important is that residents do take the time to report issues to the police, if possible at the time they are happening,’ they added.