Aiming to reduce crime by youths

Laura Bagshaw OFFICERS at the top of Safer Neighbourhood Teams covering north Great Yarmouth, the Magdalen estate in Gorleston and Bradwell, have vowed to engage with youths and their families in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.

Laura Bagshaw

OFFICERS at the top of Safer Neighbourhood Teams covering north Great Yarmouth, the Magdalen estate in Gorleston and Bradwell, have vowed to engage with youths and their families in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.

Inspector Alun Gibbs, the new head of Magdalen and Bradwell SNT, has said he will tackle issues at the Magdalen estate head-on, adding it was important to involve the families of troublemakers in punishment and prevention measures.

He said: “There is a lot of youth crime on the Magdalen estate at the moment and in particular there is a large group of people committing that crime.”

Insp Gibbs said his policing plan involved detecting and preventing crime by engaging with youngsters and also identifying problem youths and dealing with them by way of anti-social behaviour contracts and anti-social behaviour orders.

“Key to this is working with the families of youths we identify,” he said. “We need to get community confidence back. We want people to phone us with information.”

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Insp Gibbs made a direct appeal to parents to know the whereabouts of their children at all times.

“Parents also have a responsibility for their children when they are out and about, not just when they are sitting in front of the TV at home or playing on the computer.”

In Bradwell, the team aims to combat the recent rise in theft of motor vehicles.

He revealed: “Last week we recovered two cars which had been stolen and a man has now been arrested for that offence.”

Insp Gibbs, 39, served 16 years in the Metropolitan Police working mainly in the inner city areas of London and also did a stint in the robbery squad. He transferred to Norfolk in 2003 as a community sergeant based at Wymondham. He also spent time as a custody sergeant at the police station in Norwich and did three years with the tactical team in Yarmouth dealing with drugs.

He is married with two children and a third on the way.

Insp Nick Russell heads up the SNT at north Yarmouth where he is also keen to engage with local youths and tackle the low level anti-social behaviour by forging links with youth clubs.

Insp Russell has been involved in establishing a series of youth groups in the Yarmouth area, targeted at vulnerable youngsters in a bid to keep them on the straight and narrow. In October last year he set up an initiative with Kingfisher Boxing Club to get youngsters involved in the sport in order to prevent them from getting into crime.

He said: “I also aim to work with schools around a number of issues, particularly the stereotyping of youngsters.”

Insp Russell, 39, is married with two children and has been in the force for 11 years. Earlier this year he received the Sir Ronnie Flanagan Award for Outstanding Performer of the Year at the first ever Norfolk Safer Community Awards.

Picture: Laura Bagshaw