'Target vandals' SOS to police

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 June 2010

PERSISTANT vandalism and anti-social behaviour near the Byes needs to be targeted by police, a frustrated Sidmouth resident has said. John Chadwick, 50, of Lawn Vista, is one of many residents who has been a victim of vandalism in this area in recent mont

PERSISTANT vandalism and anti-social behaviour near the Byes needs to be targeted by police, a frustrated Sidmouth resident has said.

John Chadwick, 50, of Lawn Vista, is one of many residents who has been a victim of vandalism in this area in recent months and is appealing to the police for extra patrols.

Mr Chadwick, who had three panels ripped off his fence and thrown into the river earlier this month, said: "Quite a lot of vandalism goes on in the area and people are suffering in silence.

"I've heard of wing mirrors being smashed, cars scratched and somebody had their gate thrown into the river.

"Most of the trouble, noise and drunken behaviour normally seems to occur after Carina's shuts.

Mr Chadwick, who moved to Sidmouth from Buckinghamshire three months ago, believes that a greater police presence would appease the situation.

He added: "The police know it is a problem here but it is almost as if they feel there is not enough staff.

"It is obviously going on, on a regular basis, but the big wigs in the police think it is worse somewhere else. But if you live here that is not the issue.

"What we need is a police presence particularly because it is a regular occurrence.

"You can't expect them to be out there seven nights a week but as it goes on mostly at the weekends, the police should be able to target them and put in some man-power."

A 48-year-old Lawn Vista resident, who has had her wing mirror smashed three times since the summer, said: "Drunk people come up the road and go down the Byes at the weekend. They shout and are falling all over the place."

She said she has not reported the vandalism to the police because she feels "nothing can be done."

However, Inspector Jim Gale, of Rural East Devon Police, insists there is an active police presence in Sidmouth.

He said: "I have neighbourhood staff working during the weekends pretty much every weekend but they are not just in the Lawn Vista area of Sidmouth.

"In a place like rural east Devon where we have got a big patch to cover and because of the distance from Exeter, my staff have to support each other from within the area.

"Sometimes Sidmouth will have more officers to assist but this is a reciprocal arrangement and Sidmouth officers will have to come across to Honiton and Seaton."

Inspector Gale said now he was aware of the situation he would task officers at weekends to this particular area.

He added: "I'm always working hard to get extra staff out to East Devon. The towns are pretty isolated and the community do deserve a good policing service and my officers also need the right sort of support."

* Have you been a victim of vandalism in this area? If so, contact the Herald on (01395) 515191.

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