‘After a decade living a nightmare we’re fed up’

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NEIGHBOURS at the end of their tether with anti-social behaviour (ASB) right on their doorstep voiced their concerns at a neighbourhood policing panel meeting this week.

As reported in the Journal in August, ASB and low-level crime is rife in the Harrowby area of Grantham, particularly in Signal Road, Sharpe Road and Gorse Rise, and frazzled residents have had enough.

They are sick and tired of feeling like prisoners in their own homes, unable to enjoy their gardens or even live in peace.

The handful of neighbours brave enough to attend the panel meeting on Tuesday night were too terrified to give their names to the Journal for “fear of reprisals”.

But they were keen to stress how their lives have been affected by a gang of teenagers who show no regard for the law, and least of all for the people living nearby.

One neighbour said: “Ten years this has been going on. I can’t sell my house because of them. Should I have to put up with this for the next 10 years?”

Another neighbour said: “It’s got so we feel we don’t have any rights.

“Everyone bends over backwards to rehabilitate them and repair their houses. Nobody cares about us.”

A third told the panel of his fears for his wife’s health, describing her as a “bundle of nerves”.

He added: “It feels to me that we are doomed and it doesn’t feel as though this is going to go away. It’s a horrible feeling, like we’re at war.”

Despite the ongoing problems, the neighbourhood policing panel has been working hard to help residents.

The panel includes members of the Grantham Town East neighbourhood policing team and representatives from South Kesteven District Council, who are working together to crack down on the culprits.

Panel chairman Ray Wootten told the residents the “full force of the law should continue to be used to protect residents, ensuring the majority is not ruled by the minority”.

However, following a neighbour’s comment that courts simply give these youths “a slap on the wrist”, panel members admitted they feel their hands are tied by the justice system. Mr Wootten said: “Unfortunately, that’s the state of the justice system at the moment.”

l Residents in the area are urged to report anti-social behaviour to Lincolnshire Police on 0300 111 0300, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.