RESIDENTS say their village has become a “no-go area” because of gangs of “feral” youths causing chaos.
But police said they had been proactively working to tackle concerns, had conducted ‘days of action’ in Idle, continued to work with local schools to address the behaviour of children in the area and had issued warning letters to youths suspected to be involved.
One elderly resident said it has become a “huge problem”.
He said: “Groups of up to 50 youths at a time are congregating in and around the village green and causing considerable damage to properties. It is now feeling like after dark the village is a no-go area for local residents as people are scared to go out. I myself dare not venture out of my home after dark on Friday or Saturday evening in fear of being abused verbally and physically.”
He said numerous cars on the street where he lives have been damaged and has called for something to be done, as he fears vigilante groups could form. He said: “They are terrifying everybody. It’s like a warzone.”
Meanwhile Odele Ayres, 41, said: “You don’t want to walk through the village. It’s 10 to 15 of them, with bikes and their hoods up, hanging round near the cash machines – you feel intimidated. Many years ago we had the same situation and it seemed to get resolved – just recently it has stepped up.”
Another resident who lives in the area with his partner and baby said: “The kids are really, really out of control.”
He said car wing mirrors had been smashed, vehicles jumped on and more. He said: “The parents don’t care. People are actually thinking of moving out of the area – we are for a start. These kids, it’s like they are feral.”
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle) said anti-social behaviour notices had been issued for firework throwing, dispersal orders had been issued and officers had also gone into secondary schools to talk to young people about their behaviour. She said the option of additional CCTV cameras was being investigated, but it was hoped businesses would contribute.
“We are doing a lot,” Cllr Sunderland said. “There’s always more that can be done, but it’s a small handful of people who are causing the trouble.”
She said if people know who the culprits are, they should inform the police. She said: “I think young people converge in the village because they feel safe. Some young people converge in the village as they live here and like everyone else, they have a right to move about in the community free from challenge. But that small minority who are intent on causing trouble – stop it – because it might be your grandparents being frightened.”
Inspector Diane Collins, from Bradford East NPT, said: “Officers from the Bradford East team have been proactively working to tackle the issues raised by local residents in Idle. They continue to work closely with partners and the community to address anti-social behaviour and crime issues.
“The team have also held a number of resident and business meetings, conducted proactive ‘days of action’. They continue to work closely with the local schools to address the behaviour of young people in the area. Warning letters have been sent to local youths suspected of being involved.”
Anyone with concerns should call the team on 101 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org