Bid to beat anti-social behaviour in Bideford

BIDEFORD police and Bideford College are working together in a bid to stem incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in residential areas near the school. Residents believe pupils are responsible. Now police and college staff will be co-oper

BIDEFORD police and Bideford College are working together in a bid to stem incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in residential areas near the school. Residents believe pupils are responsible.Now police and college staff will be co-operating to patrol the areas. CCTV and house to house inquires will also be used to track down offenders.Following a meeting with college principal Veronica Matthews, police Neighbourhood Beat Manager Sgt Simon Bassett said:"Residents believe pupils from Bideford College are responsible as incidents were occurring mainly during the lunch period and youngsters wearing college uniform were seen running from the area when confronted. "The damage consists mainly of broken panes of glass to greenhouses, especially in areas such as Acacia Close, Dursley Way and Little Meadow Way. The anti-social behaviour includes shouting and swearing from youngsters, litter and general nuisance, especially in areas such as Geneva Court." At their meeting it was established that the college grounds were a difficult site to manage, due to the number of exits and the openness of the grounds, he said. It was agreed that the problems were being caused by a small minority of youngsters and both police and the college were keen to identify those responsible. "No pupil from the college is being investigated in relation to these incidents," he said. "However, with an increase in patrols, house to house enquiries, use of CCTV both in the school and outside, it is hoped to catch the offenders and reduce the number of reported incidents. "Through partnership co-operation, police officers and college staff will patrol the areas, pupils will be spoken to to ensure they are out of college for the right reason, and those disregarding the rules or committing offences will be dealt with appropriately and parents contacted." The college was taking a robust stance in relation to the allegation that pupils were responsible for the disturbances and endeavouring to make the grounds as secure as possible, he said. When improvements to the college were completed in September 2010, these issues would be easier to manage. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Bideford police on 08452 777444


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