Town offers ‘nothing’ for bored teens

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:12 26 January 2018

Katie Carpenter and Louise Weddell are launching a fundraiser. Ref sho 03 18TI 6408. Picture: Terry Ife

Katie Carpenter and Louise Weddell are launching a fundraiser. Ref sho 03 18TI 6408. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

An Ottery mum is calling on the community to support her campaign to create more activities for the town’s youngsters in a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour.

At a public meeting on Monday night, residents gathered to share their ideas after recurring incidents of bad behaviour around the Land of Canaan – resulting in some youngsters saying they are unable to go out anymore.

Katie Carpenter, who organised the meeting, announced last week ‘something had to be done’ and has set up a committee to try and fundraise up to £25,000.

The mum-of-two said having somewhere to go, such as a snooker hall or shelter at the skate park, would curtail the problems and urged people to volunteer as fundraisers or trustees to get the project off the ground.

She told the meeting: “The issues are that teenagers have nothing to do in Ottery, there is nothing for them apart from the skate park but that’s out of bounds at night because there is no lighting. There is nowhere dry up there.

“There are children who will not go out in the town anymore because they have been bullied or attacked by other children.”

Parents attending the meeting said they felt money should be spent on those youngsters who do not cause trouble and currently feel unable to go out in the evening.

A father-of-two told the meeting said there were two issues in the town and that fundraising for a new space would not solve the problem of antisocial behaviour.

He said: It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, it’s almost a caution, that we should absolutely do this because anything that brings more to Ottery for the kids and develops the town is absolutely worth doing. But we shouldn’t assume it will stop a small group.”

Stewart Lucas, owner of Silver Street Tattoos, added having lights and CCTV at places like the skate park could provide a long term solution to the ongoing vandalism issues as youngsters would feel safe to go out.

A Facebook group called Improving Ottery’s Youth Facilities has been set up to attract volunteers.

To donate to the fundraiser, visit the crowdfunding page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katie-carpenter


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