March 8 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
An undercover police operation is being used to try to stamp out problems with vandalism in an east Suffolk market town.
Saxmundham has been plagued with problems over the past six Friday nights with youths causing criminal damage to a number of properties, leaving residents upset and facing repair work and bills.
Teenagers are said to be causing the problems in several areas of town – particularly around Saxon Road, Mill Road and Fairfield Road, and police have already made one arrest.
There have also been complaints about anti-social behaviour in Henley Close and Coopers Close. PCSO Thora Taylor told Saxmundham Town Council the problems started at around 10pm each Friday and went on until about midnight, sometimes later.
She said: “The majority of the damage involves walls being kicked over, plants being pulled up and gates being ripped off.”
Patrols had been stepped up and undercover officers in plain clothes and unmarked cars were being used.
Some of those causing the damage are believed to be as young as 13 and 14, but older teenagers could also be involved.
PCSO Taylor said there had been a group gathering at Carlton Park, off Main Road, drinking, causing noise and acting in a rowdy manner. These meetings had been advertised on Facebook, and as well as youngsters from Saxmundham, had attracted others from surrounding villages and from as far as Woodbridge.
Police believe anti-social behaviour in Henley Close and Coopers Close was caused by youngsters using a new bench as a place to congregate. Councillors though believed there was little point in moving the bench as this would deprive other residents who enjoyed using it. Chairman John Fisher said: “I think we are talking about a spate of vandalism and the bench is a red herring.”
Last Friday, 19-year-old Robert Deveraux, of Sandy lane, Sternfield, was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer and theft of an ornament. He will appear before Lowestoft Magistrates on January 7.
Police have appealed for anyone with information about the incidents, or who has had property damaged, to call 101.