Parents told to pay for youth's damage
By Patrick LowmanA COURT has ordered the parents of a youngster, blamed for causing damage to a village hall, to pay the cost of repairs. The ruling is the result of the first private prosecution brought by Glemsford Parish Council, which is taking tough action against vandals who have blighted the village.
By Patrick Lowman
A COURT has ordered the parents of a youngster, blamed for causing damage to a village hall, to pay the cost of repairs.
The ruling is the result of the first private prosecution brought by Glemsford Parish Council, which is taking tough action against vandals who have blighted the village.
Glemsford Parish Council has become the first in Suffolk to employ private security guards to patrol the village in an attempt to stamp out rowdy behaviour and vandalism.
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It has also adopted a policy of taking private action against the parents of any youngster caught damaging village property.
Last month the council started its first private prosecution against the mother of one youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at Northampton County Court.
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The action relates to an incident in May when parish clerk Sara Turner saw three youngsters allegedly attacking the village hall. She reported the incident to the police and two youths later received cautions.
But residents were so furious at what they felt was lenient treatment handed out to the youngsters, the council said it would pursue the matter through the small claims court.
The youngster's mother was given 28 days to reply to the council's claim, but the court has now ruled she must pay for the repairs to the village hall after she failed to file any admission or defence.
Northampton County Court said she must pay Glemsford Parish Council £32.40 for the damage and £27 in court fees.
Parish clerk Sara Turner said the ruling showed mindless and wanton vandalism would not be tolerated in the village any longer.
“This claim was not about a lot of money, it was about the principle of the issue,” she added.
“We are delighted with the ruling because it shows we are taking tough action against anybody caught causing damage and we will not hesitate to do it again. We are determined to stamp out this type of unacceptable behaviour.”
Meanwhile, the private security guards will continue to patrol the village streets every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the end of May.
A decision will then be made on whether to keep them in Glemsford on a permanent basis.