A family’s CCTV footage of how youths made them too scared to leave their homes is being shown to primary school children.
The family, who live in Blaby, installed cameras to show police and council officials how bad things could get as young people gathered outside their home, which was a flat over a parade of shops. Last summer they say some drunk youths smashed bottles, burned newspaper, shouted and urinated. Others threw boxes around, kicked the shop fronts and drank alcohol.
The mother, who did not want to be named, said:
“As soon as it was dark they would start to gather, hassling the people passing to buy them alcohol from the shop.”
“They were about 12 or 14 and drunk on vodka they drank mixed in coke bottles.”
“My sons, aged 15 and 16, would come and wake me up and tell my there were more people outside smashing bottles. It was horrendous. I couldn’t let my sons out because they would get abuse. I was begging my husband to move us somewhere else.”
The family showed footage from the CCTV cameras to Blaby District Council’s antisocial behaviour team.
The council installed a “Mosquito™” device that blasts out a high-pitched noise inaudible to adults, which stopped the youngsters gathering there. Now the footage is being shown in primary schools around Blaby district to teach children how their actions can ruin the lives of others. A group of 90 pupils at Millfield Community School in Braunstone have been shown the film and had a talk from police.
Year 6 head Kathryn Griffin said:
“The clip showed some acts of vandalism and children misbehaving outside a shop. The police talked about the case and the definition of anti-social behaviour. The children gave lots of examples of things they had either seen or nearly been involved in. I think they took it all very seriously.”
Sandra Wooding, the council’s assistant community safety officer, took part in the visit. She said:
“The case in the CCTV footage was one we were working on for three months. The family living above the shop became prisoners in their own homes, with crowds of up to 60 youths outside until 1am some nights.”
The school visits will continue until March next year. Inspector Jon Brown, of Blaby police, said:
“This is about educating young people about being good citizens. We explain to them the impact of their behaviour and get them to see it from the point of view of others.”