Town in bid to get rid of yobs

AN AVENUE once known as the Bond Street of East Anglia but more recently likened to Beirut after being plagued by yobs could soon return to more genteel times.

AN AVENUE once known as the Bond Street of East Anglia but more recently likened to Beirut after being plagued by yobs could soon return to more genteel times.

Connaught Avenue, in Frinton-on-Sea, has for decades been the envy of Essex attracting even the likes of the young Lady Thatcher.

But in the last few years, its smart-set atmosphere has been destroyed by groups of under-age youths drinking outside shops.

Up to 30 under-18s have been known to collect outside the boulevard's Spar convenience store late at night sparking complaints from intimidated residents and concerned shoppers.


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Town councillors have been pressing for urgent action and said they would support the naming and shaming of persistent pests.

They scored their first victory yesterdayin a bid to banish the yob culture from their town.

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At a meeting with police, managers at the store yielded to local pressure and agreed to employ a security guard on the door at night.

From next week, the guard, who will be trained in conjunction with the police, and will stand guard between 5pm and 10pm to ward off the youths.

Chris Bacon, regional manager for Tates, who own and operate the Connaught Avenue store, confirmed the new arrangements, but questioned the wider role of the community in dealing with the problem.

He said: "There's no doubt that we are attracting these youths in that we are the only store there opening late at night.

"And I know that there has been some trouble - I've heard the avenue has been compared to Beirut. "We are putting this security guard there and this may well drive the kids away - we ourselves don't want them troubling our staff or our customers."

"But the guard won't be the be all and end all - you have to look at why they are there. Where is the parental responsibility? What else is there is to do in Frinton?" he asked.

David Appleby, licensing officer for Essex Police's Tendring Division

said: "There is a problem in that area with youths causing a nuisance by knocking on people's doors for example and alcohol has no doubt been a factor.

"The store has now agreed to a trial with a security guard on the door for six months and hopefully allow people to lead more peaceful lives."

Frinton and Walton town councillor Roy Caddick said: "I'm absolutely delighted by this extremely positive step by the company - our pressure has paid off.

"Hopefully this while wipe out the yob problems. We have said we will support anyone wishing to try and name and shame offenders, but maybe it won't come to that now."

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