"They aren’t scared of anyone and certainly don’t have any respect" - Fleetwood residents blame parents for gangs of youths causing mayhem

A police car damaged in Tuesday nights riot
A police car damaged in Tuesday nights riot
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Angry traders and residents say police will need more than a curfew to deal with gangs of youths who are making their lives a misery as teens caused chaos for the second night in a row.

On Wednesday police put in place a Section 34 order enabling them to move on groups of youths in Fleetwood.

The order was made after a group of 100 teenagers smashed a police cars windscreen as they rioted near the Marine Hall the previous night.

Visitors taking part in a dance competition were forced to stay inside the theatre for their own safety.

Because of the huge number of people involved police were only able to arrest one 14-year-old boy from Fleetwood on suspicion of public order offences.

The following night, groups of teenagers ignored the dispersal order and threw stones at passing cars, including a police patrol car which was damaged.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Whilst in the Mount area of Fleetwood, officers used the powers of the section 34 dispersal order to ask some youths to leave the area after stones were seen to be thrown.

“A police car received some minor damage. This kind of anti-social behaviour can have a profound impact on the community and how safe people feel in their neighbourhood. It will not be tolerated.”

Residents have said they are ‘scared’ to leave their homes at times due to the youths.

Maureen Griffiths, 62, of Mount Road, lives opposite Marine Hall and saw the incident happen.

She said: “It was like being in a movie. We were under siege. I really don’t know what they are all thinking when they congregate in massive groups.

“This is a family seaside resort, not a place for gangs of youths. It keeps happening as soon as the schools break up for summer but you can see them throughout the year as well.

“I just hope the police and council will finally do something about it. I don’t want to feel scared in my own home.

Roger Matthias, 71, of Blakiston Street, said: “I would be mortified if it was my grandchildren taking part in these groups. Surely their parents know they are up to no good but don’t seem to care about it. There are plenty of things to do in Fleetwood for these children so I wouldn’t blame the council for not offering enough services which always seems to happen when you hear these stories.

“It’s solely down to the children and their parents to take the blame for these troubles, no one else.

Sharon Roper, 38, of Dronsfield Road, said: “My two children used to go to the skate park at Marine Hall all the time but there has been too much trouble going on recently so I have stopped them going.

“There are lots of parks and beaches for kids to play sports but they would rather cause trouble.

“Something needs to be done because the other night was too scary. I want my children to enjoy themselves where they live and not be stuck inside because of the actions of others.”

Business owners have also said the trouble needs to stop.

Bill Heslop, who runs the Esplanade Leisure kiosk, said the youths are ‘troublemakers’.

He added: “They are very intimidating and do seem like they want to cause trouble in Fleetwood.

“I honestly don’t know what the solution is. You would think more police would be the answer but they will probably smash more police cars up. They aren’t scared of anyone and certainly don’t have any respect.

“I don’t think the curfew did anything either. I saw some on the Mount Pavilion park when I left work. They will still come out no matter what.”

A worker at Amusements arcade on the Esplanade, who wished to not be named, said youths have caused trouble in the business before.

They added: “A few youths have been in on a few occasions and tried to bash the machines to get money out of them but they get told to get out. If 100 of them turned up it would be mayhem.

Fleetwood Police said: “Due to the number of youths not all could be dealt with as robustly as we would have liked, however, there is an ongoing investigation into the incident using police bodycam footage, CCTV and witnesses.”