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UNRULY teenagers are making the lives of people in Berkeley a misery according to residents. Frustrated residents claim criminal damage, noise, speeding and underage drinking are all becoming a common scene late at night in Berkeley town centre. The public toilets on Marybrook Street are also believed to be used for suspected drug abuse and sex acts.

Tom Brealy, of Berkeley, said: “It’s a combination of parental and societal issues.

“It’s worse on weekends and during the school holidays.

“Something needs to be done before someone gets hurt. We need to tell these youths this behaviour is not acceptable.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “They are causing so much damage. The telephone box has been vandalised and windows are being smashed in houses.

“We are very, very frightened. I am worried now to leave my wife and young family.”

Berkeley Town Council last year fitted CCTV cameras to the Town Hall and are now considering up-grading the system to help prevent late night anti-social behaviour.

The town council are also looking at the possibility of buying a Mosquito device for the town centre. A Mosquito device lets out a high pitched noise which only teenagers can hear and stops them from congregating.

Councillors are also planning to remove the bench which sits outside the town hall at night. The bench has proved a popular spot for youths to gather.

Sgt Neil Gibbs, of Dursley Police Station, said urgent direct actions were needed.

He said: “This is something that has been an issue in this town for a long, long time.

“The number of noise complaints the police receive is unacceptable.

“Investment in CCTV has been fantastic but that is not going to solve the type of problem Berkeley has. I am glad Berkeley is considering a Mosquito device.”

Author Liza-Jane Gillespie
Publication Gazette IE
Date 17 October 2007

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