SATURDAY, July 19 - Police reject teen 'harassment' jibe
PUBLISHED: 14:48 19 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:19 10 June 2010
POLICE say they have been more than fair with Lympstone youngsters whose parents accuse officers of 'harassing' village teens. Village bobbies have defended their efforts to work with youngsters, after parents claimed they were too heavy handed. Officers
POLICE say they have been more than fair with Lympstone youngsters whose parents accuse officers of 'harassing' village teens.Village bobbies have defended their efforts to work with youngsters, after parents claimed they were too heavy handed.Officers - who have handed one behavioural contract to a Lympstone teen and policed numerous calls involving youngsters - said they helped find clubs and sports to occupy kids. Officers had even made connections at the Lympstone Commando Base to offer lads a future career.But parents claim their offspring are under too much pressure to conform.Glebelands hairdresser Kim Seldon, 30, mother to 12 year-old twins and step-mum to 16 and 17 year old boys, said: "Neighbours are phoning the police when they are just hanging around. My husband calls it harassment."Kids do have issues with boredom, and some get into trouble or drink. I know what it's like, but a few years ago you wouldn't get in trouble for things like swinging off a tree." Her views were supported by neighbour Tim Harrison, 39, who claimed three patrol cars attended a 'fight' when neighbours called the police on his son - who was sparring with friends after being encouraged to take up boxing by police.Mr Harrison, 39, said: "In my opinion there are better things the police could be doing. Sure the kids get themselves in strife but it's better here than many places."Neighbour and taxi driver Andrew Martin, 47, said his teenage son, who lives with his mother in Exeter, refuses to visit on weekends to avoid trouble with police.Police admitted three cars attended a reported fight in Glebelands, but said any such incident phoned in would result in a quick response.Lympstone PCSO Sarah Trayhurn said: "We have given warnings and some incidents of anti-social behaviour have been dealt with. If things have an effect on other residents' lives then we will deal with it."I feel sad that parents could not come to us first, we are round the village regularly. We get on fine with the kids and know them by name, and we have made an effort for them."Parents added they felt facilities were lacking for teens in the village, with even a lack of goalposts on Candy's Field.However, a six-figure grant won by Lympstone's Parish Council-backed youth club will see BMX facilities at the green space reinstated, and a new multi-sports area built.