Estate yobs face ASBOs

ANTI-social behaviour orders could be issued to yobs who, one fed up Littleham man claimed, were making Littleham residents lives hell .

ANTI-social behaviour orders could be issued to yobs who, one fed up Littleham man claimed, were making Littleham residents' lives 'hell'.

Part of the village has been plagued with problems from gangs of youths for a number of months, with Liverton Close and Midway singled out as particular trouble blackspots.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall police said the possibility of issuing ASBOs was being considered following the failure of acceptable behaviour contracts - previous measures designed to monitor and direct behaviour.

The ASBO move follows steps to place the area under a section 30 dispersal order, which empowers police to break up gangs of loitering or boisterous youths. This will apply to parts of Littleham which are bordered by Salterton Road, Capel Lane and Littleham Road.

Exmouth sergeant Philip Godfrey said he was extremely concerned about the increase in anti-social behaviour, notably in Liverton Close.

"We are sending a strong message to a very small minority of people who appear intent on causing trouble and creating fear to others.

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"The section 30 power is only part of the action we will be looking to take against individuals.

"We are in the process of reviewing evidence to support applications for anti-social behaviour orders and we will continue to gather evidence."

George Johnson, who lives in Liverton Close, said, in recent months, he had a recycle bin set on fire, which was left dumped on his lawn, and graffiti sprayed on his porch.

He added: "One of my neighbours had obscene language scrawled in blood on her gate, which was extremely unpleasant. The blood was also daubed onto cars.

"If you go outside my front gate, at any time, there are usually around seven or eight youths hanging around.

"A lot of people who live here are living in fear and are scared to go out of their homes."

Nikki Payne, police community support officer for Littleham, said: "Many residents have suffered for far too long and attempts to intervene and engage with this group have failed.

"The behaviour, damage and intimidation has become so regular that a different approach has to be implemented."

The officer said police resources had been tied up for a long time in dealing with issues in the area and other young people had been forgotten as a result.