‘Bored’ teens blamed for spate of vandalism
- Credit: Archant
A vicar is calling for more engagement with youths after a recent spate of vandalism at St Mary’s church in Hadleigh.
On Monday, November 18 the kitchen window of the deanery was broken and in the main church building a protective grate was pulled off of the stained glass window, though fortunately no damage was done to the pane.
The Very Reverend Jo Delfgou is the rector at the church and lives in the deanery.
He is aware that a group of youths have been involved in recent disturbances and worries about the isolation of the town leading to trouble.
"It is just people being silly really, they went in the lanes behind the houses and smashed up some old stuff, bricks and glass," he said.
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"Luckily no one was in the kitchen at the time but the cat is usually there on the windowsill and it could have had a big shock or some glass to the head.
"My wife was quite shocked and quite upset by the whole incident."
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But instead of being angry towards those responsible the clergyman is hoping to move on and create positive change.
He added: "We have had really generous support from the locals and so many kind words, the people of Hadleigh really are lovely. The issue here is really trying to engage the young people.
"It's not many at all it's a small minority but they need something. We need to look at it, all of us; the schools, the police and figure out how to help them."
But while he thinks the local services should be doing more, others look to the parents of the young people.
Martin Cherrington runs the Ipswich Boxing Club and deals with teens on a daily basis.
He said: "In Hadleigh there isn't much to do and the local services have tried there. It is isolated and it's hard to get the funding to make it out there, I know that because we've tried.
"But parents need to get off their backside and find stuff for their kids to do.
"They're often saying they're too busy then get upset or angry when the kids do something out of boredom.
"It goes in tandem really the effort the parents put in and what they get from their kids."
When dealing with the aftermath of the tragic Tavis Spencer-Aitkens stabbing in Ipswich, Martin had many parents showing more involvement.
"They were quick to come down to the community centre and start saying how there needs to be more offered to youths but they soon got bored and forgot it and moved on.
"The services on offer are all affordable and the parents just need to use them."