Play park neighbours left fed up with noisy teens in Sidmouth

Complaints have been raised about an 'increasing' problem with dog mess on the Ham

Complaints have been raised about an 'increasing' problem with dog mess on the Ham - Credit: Archant

Neighbours who live next to a Sidmouth playground claim noisy teenagers are leaving them at their wits’ end - but police say they have not encountered problems while on patrol.

The Ham.

The Ham. - Credit: Archant

Stephen Pemberton, of Glenisla Terrace, lives next to the Ham where he says up to 25 teenagers gather on a weekly basis, screaming and playing music until as late as midnight.

The town’s police say that, despite numerous late-night and early morning patrols, officers have never come across any problems in the area.

One neighbour, who has lived in Glenisla Terrace 35 years, but wished to remain anonymous, said: “We have always had an issue with it – the girls scream at the highest volume and they play loud music. They have always done it, but it has got worse lately.

“We don’t have any problems with the little ones in the day - it is when the older ones turn up.”

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Another resident of 15 years, who did not wish to be named, added: “This has been going on for a long time. I have spoken to councillors in the past and have spoken to the police and nothing seems to be done. And, when you approach the children, they look at you like you are stupid.”

Mr Pemberton said: “They congregate in the park, it is almost like a nightclub or youth club some evenings. They can be so loud and it often goes on until midnight. People have given up having any confidence that something will be done.”

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Sergeant Andy Squires said only one resident had mentioned the issue and, as soon as they did, officers started sporadic patrols, late at night and in the early mornings on both weekdays and on weekends. However, they rarely saw anyone there past 11pm.Sgt Squires said: “Never-the-less we still go down there on our patrols and will continue to do so. We can only speak on what we find and we have identified very little trouble.”

A spokesman for Sidmouth Town Council, the Ham’s trustee, said all of the public can enjoy as recreation and play space. He added: “Open spaces, parks and playgrounds should be expected to generate a certain amount of noise while young people enjoy their life and surroundings. Unacceptable noise levels should of course be reported to the police, but the police have no such logged issues at the Ham. “Antisocial behaviour is a matter for the police to deal with, but the council works closely with them on such issues. Only one resident has contacted the council regarding these issues, which they did shortly after they moving to their new property adjacent to the playground. It is acknowledged that there has clearly been a problem at the district council-owned Connaught Gardens, which has been subject of recent press coverage, but the police are not aware of any similar problems at the Ham and have advised the council accordingly.”

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