Sidmouth woman verbally abused by rowdy youths in public gardens calls for more respect
PUBLISHED: 11:39 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:29 21 May 2019
An aggrieved Sidmouth woman says the homeless have more respect for the town than its ‘home-grown kids’ after she was verbally abused by a gang of youths.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was insulted by the yobs after confronting them about their rowdy behaviour in Blackmore Gardens.
The woman claims some youths have been urinating against the wall of Sidmouth Hospital and smashing glass bottles on the ground, all while openly smoking drugs.
In video footage she took of some youngsters, one teenaged boy can be seen filling up what looks like a bong with an unknown substance.
Another teen can be heard expletively insulting the woman after she confronts them and asks them to move on.
The woman said: "[Sidmouth's] kids are displaying really violent behaviour publicly and openly.
"We have homeless people in this town, with real drink and drug problems, who show more respect."
Police were called to the disturbance on Friday, May 10, where officers said they found the youths in 'high spirits'.
PC Steve Harrington said: "A patrol came across a group of around eight to 12 youths outside the library in Sidmouth and in Blackmore Gardens, some of whom had clearly been drinking alcohol and they were generally in high spirits.
"A few of the youths dispersed on cycles and on foot as police arrived.
"Police spoke to the youths that remained and saw no signs of drug misuse, there was no smell of cannabis and no damage.
"Police gave words of advice about keeping the noise down and creating a mess."
An hour on from the interaction, officers received a report that unknown drunken youths were throwing rubbish and broken bottles by Sidmouth Library.
PC Harrington said: "On police arrival some of the youths ran off.
"Police saw overturned bins and broken glass which they cleared up and the group were dispersed."
The woman claimed the disturbances have been going on for years, but her frustrations reached boiling point when she saw some teens urinate in the gardens.
She said: "There are lots of volunteers who work tirelessly on these gardens for the benefit of the public.
"Every weekend, youths aged between 14 and 18 come to the garden, who start shouting and screaming and drinking.
"We need more police presence and enforcement in Blackmore Gardens, and more power for police to be able to arrest them and question them."
PC Harrington told the Herald officers are 'actively patrolling' the Blackmore Gardens area in the late evenings when able, along with the Connaught Gardens and Ham Park areas.