Gang of teenagers rampage through Fareham causing damage and bringing fear to residents
ANTI-SOCIAL teenagers have been bringing fear to residents and businesses in Fareham as they cause trouble throughout the town.
Several incidents of vandalism have been reported to the police over the past week – with Hampshire Constabulary stepping up patrols in the Cams Alders and Fort Fareham areas in a bid to deter the culprits.
Residents of Trafalgar Court, a sheltered housing block run by the council, have been left in fear as the yobs have smashed windows, trashed gardens and been abusive towards the residents, all of whom are either elderly or vulnerable people.
Nearby, it has been reported that hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been caused at the community football club, Fareham Town FC, which has been the centre of repeated break ins and vandalism.
Also nearby, businesses at Fort Fareham Industrial Estate have been left counting the cost, as the gang has repeatedly climbed on to the roof, lit fires, left rubbish, hurled abuse at workers and vandalised cars and property.
Sara Elms, who works at Natural Paving and Stone, a landscaping firm at Fort Fareham Industrial Estate, said: ‘They are going to hurt someone soon. They are throwing things off the roof, which is eight metres high, one false move and they will be in trouble.
‘It is unsafe for anyone to be up there, let alone kids.
‘They have thrown glass bottles at us. When you challenge them it makes them worse, but they can’t keep getting away with it.’
She said the fire service had been called out at least twice in the past week to deal with fires.
She said the gang had left graffiti on their vans, smashed fencing and been threatening to passers-by.
Tony White, treasurer at Fareham Town FC, said they had seen several break ins, one of which has left the club hundreds of pounds out of pocket after new seating was destroyed.
He said: ‘We are not a rich club by any means. We are trying to work really hard to open back up after a really difficult year but it’s one step forward and two steps back.
‘We can’t play football as our season has been cut down, we can’t open our bar, so we are not making any money.
‘Things like this have a real impact on us.’
John Elsey, who lives in Trafalgar Court, said the residents had been left upset by the incidents, which even saw an 88-year-old’s garden lights and ornaments smashed.
He said: ‘They are terrorising the old ladies here. They are throwing things and breaking things.
‘It is heart-breaking. We put a lot of effort into our garden and we take pride in it.
‘We even put a dog bowl out for the dogs visiting the nearby rec but that keeps getting thrown and damaged. It is mindless vandalism.’
He said the police have been called several times, including when things escalated last Tuesday and a large window was smashed.
A police spokesman said they had received reports from the football club, including an incident where several youths tried to steal a beer keg, as well as reports from Trafalgar Court of ongoing incidents of youth anti-social behaviour and reports from businesses on Fort Fareham Industrial Estate relating to the damage and fires.
They said: ‘We will be working with our partners at the council to address these issues and are making enquiries, including reviewing CCTV footage. Officers will also visit the area as part of routine patrols.
‘In terms of whether there is a link between incidents at the various locations – this is not confirmed, but part of our enquiries will look to establish whether there is any connection between these incidents.’
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that it has been called out on April 12 and 13.
Caroline Newsman, head of housing at Fareham Borough Council, said an officer had attended Trafalgar Court to make the property safe and a new window had been ordered.
She said: ‘Our community safety and enforcement colleagues are working in partnership with police to ensure the area is regularly patrolled.’