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Crossing the Tees.

Byline: By Theresa Cave Evening Gazette

As someone who has tried to do their bit to help kids off the street, I am sad to say I have hit a brick wall.

My allotment project was stopped in its tracks by councillors who made promises of a new ground.

Sadly I had to watch these kids lose faith in me and the local authority before the offer came in.

So I have just had to sit and watch as they become the kids on the street corners once again.

What is the answer for them?

Not tough policing - that seems to act as a challenge to these kids.

I think that if anything was to be done by Chief Constable Mr Price, it should have been done while the dispersal order was in place last year.

That was when residents were beginning to feel safe again.

It was when talking could have achieved much.

Instead, the so-called dispersal order fizzled out. The kids lost what little faith they had in anyone willing to help them.

Bang. We're back to square one - with the kids having the advantage this time round of knowing where to run, where to cause constant vandalism and exactly how to cause upset to residents.

How much money was wasted giving out pieces of paper to kids by the force?

If you think about it, the kids who do prey on these areas do not actually belong there.

They don't attempt do wreak havoc in their own backyards.

What I do wonder constantly is this - just where are the parents?

If half of the parents could see what their kids are doing to defenceless old people, who frighten grown men and women with kids of their own, surely they would themselves do something about it.

People are told to phone and report every incident that the kids do. The calls are apparently then logged and after so many complaints have been received then they have the power to serve anti-social behaviour orders on them.

I can tell you this hasn't been the case where we live.

People have reported and reported until they are blue in the face and until our homes and property have been practically demolished.

The police hardly ever turn up and when they do people are too frightened to speak out for fear of retribution - this from children of 13 and under.

Why not make these kids wards of their own street only. Don't allow them to mix.

Erect CCTV cameras, man them and when these kids are on film show their parents what they're up to.

And if nothing changes, arrest the parents, not the kids.

I tell you, that would soon stop the bother.

It's time the police realised just how serious the situation is getting and how desperate people are feeling.

We want something positive instead of police and councils making big plans which then fall down around us, causing embarrassment and disillusion.

There is no such thing as a bad child.

Children are innocents. It's how they are taught which turns them bad.

I fully support Chris McGlade and back him all the way.

I say spend some money on the future of our town, which is the future of our kids.

Give them a reason to get up at the weekend and give them a chance to learn some respect.

Who wants new houses if all that's going to happen is vandalism.

When all they'll attract is gangs on their new corners, and all they will become are the problem areas of tomorrow.

* WHAT do you think about this or any other issue?

If you would like us to consider your passionate views for Crossing the Tees then write to: Editor, Evening Gazette, Borough Road, Middlesbrough TS1 3AZ. Fax 01642 232014 or email

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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Column Crossing The Tees
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2004
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