Sidmouth booze fuelled crime spree crackdown

POLICE want to stamp out alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder in a problematic area of Sidmouth which has been plagued by yobs in recent weeks.

POLICE want to stamp out alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder in a problematic area of Sidmouth which has been plagued by yobs in recent weeks.

Officers have been called to Temple Street every weekend for the past month following complaints from anxious and fed-up residents about anti-social behaviour landing on their doorstep.

In one incident, an officer based at Sidmouth sustained a broken wrist and a youth suspected of causing criminal damage needed hospital treatment following a head injury.

Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said: "We are still investigating the incident and, as sergeant of the police station, I'm always concerned when injuries are caused to members of the public or an officer.

"I'm obviously concerned for the people of Temple Street. For years they have had to put up with damage to property and items left in the garden such as beer cans, vomit and rubbish."

He said in the lead-up to and following this incident, there have been "numerous complaints" of trouble- makers in the area and he is calling on the help of the public to apprehend the culprits.

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"What I'm after from the residents of Temple Street and the surrounding areas is if they have a problem with anti-social behaviour and disorder not to delay and ring 999 immediately," he added. "It is pointless ringing us up the following day as the offenders are usually long gone."

Temple Street resident and district councillor Christine Drew followed this advice recently after she spotted youths in her garden attempting to move a heavy flower pot and throwing the contents of her recycling bin all over the road.

She told the Herald: "I would like people not to be afraid to ring 999. We get quite a bit of trouble in Temple Street and people mustn't feel scared to do that."

Mrs Drew added that officers arrived within minutes of her emergency call and she praised them for their professionalism.

Police say reports of anti-social behaviour in this area have ranged from youths playing with wheelie bins and causing criminal damage, to drunken middle-aged people committing public order offences.

In another incident a car belonging to Police Community Support Officer Steve Blanchford-Cox was trampled and damaged.

Sergeant Turner stressed there is "no evidence" to suggest that the offences have happened after people have left nightclubs but he added: "It would appear alcohol is the common factor in all these incidents.

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