Neighbours to focus on buying cameras

PUBLISHED: 06:17 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 21:22 29 May 2010

By day, White Street looks a peaceful road - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

By day, White Street looks a peaceful road - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

PEOPLE living in Dunmow are so angry with vandals they are considering buying their own CCTV system. The latest incident in a spate of vandalism happened on Friday night and involved youths who kicked and smashed the mirrors off a car and threw stones at

PEOPLE living in Dunmow are so angry with vandals they are considering buying their own CCTV system.

The latest incident in a spate of vandalism happened on Friday night and involved youths who kicked and smashed the mirrors off a car and threw stones at people's homes.

Father-of-two Kevin Sweeney, of White Street, said: "It was about 10.15pm on Friday and there was a group of youths making a lot of noise in White Street at the back of the Co-Op.

"I went outside and had a chat with them and initially they seemed quite pleasant.

"I went back indoors and looked out of the window. I then saw two of the boys run up to my car and kick the wing mirrors off.

"I lost it. I ran out and confronted them. They were very apologetic and the group went away. I thought the incident was over.

"But about an hour later a whole group of about 30 youths arrived throwing stones at the front of my house shouting 'no-one touches our gang'.

The police were called, but by the time they arrived the youths had gone. A police officer took Mr Sweeney's number and said that a superior would be in touch, but he claims he has not heard anything since.

"I'm livid about this and so are my neighbours," he said.

"The police aren't doing enough. They say the area is being policed more but kids just run off when they see them and come straight back once they've gone.

"There are a lot of us who are seriously talking about trying to tackle the problem ourselves by paying for and installing our own CCTV cameras.

"Feelings are running very high at the moment and there's a danger of things getting out of hand. I'd hate to see someone get hurt, but I've got a nasty feeling that, if things don't change, that may well end up the case."

He even said some people had talked about starting up a vigilante group and policing the area themselves."

Robert Wilson, owner of Lennons, on the High Street, said: "Things have definitely got worse recently. It seems there are lots of youths running amuck. Every weekend it seems a shop window gets smashed.

"I've had my car damaged and I know that one of the guys down White Street caught a girl running over the top of his Jag and I've spoken to elderly people who say they are now frightened to go into the town at night."

A police spokesman said: "We encourage people to report incidents of this nature as soon as possible. If they can record times, details and supply evidence such as photographs and videos, all the better.

"This can then be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who will study it and decide what action can be taken.

"There's nothing to stop residents installing their own CCTV cameras as long as planning regulations are adhered to."

People wanting to report a crime in progress should use the 999 emergency number.

However, anyone with information about crimes that have taken place should contact Dunmow Police on 01371 872208 where their call will be answered by an officer or diverted to headquarters before being investigated.

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