Four teenagers, the youngest just 13, have been handed anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) lasting three years after terrorising residents on Grantham’s Earlesfield estate and causing £5,000 worth of damage to The Meres.
Cameron Hart, 13, Tom Clawson, 17, Macauley Harman, 15, and Liam Finlow, 15, were part of a campaign of anti-social behaviour in and around the estate which included the vandalism at the leisure centre.
The ASBOs were made just days before it was announced that the first phase of a £600,000 upgrade of improvements to The Meres is to begin, the first of which is a revamp of the cafe to a Costa Coffee shop.
The teenagers verbally abused people, threw missiles at passers-by and property and shone laser lights at car drivers. They were also involved in theft and damage to jump mats at The Meres, being obstructive, trespass, damage to doors and shutters and other acts of vandalism.
In spite of repeated warnings by police and South Kesteven District Council to stop their behaviour, they continued to cause harassment, alarm and distress elsewhere in Grantham town centre and on Dysart Retail Park.
The youths were part of a larger group of teenagers who caused damage and concern to residents and businesses around the town.
The four youths received the three year orders at Grantham Magistrates’ Court on April 9 which stated they must not:
* Engage in conduct which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to others or inciting or encouraging others to do so within Grantham
* Enter certain areas within the Earlesfield Estate including Grantham Meres Leisure Centre and Hornsby Road shops
* Be in any public place within the district of South Kesteven with each other and another six youths who cannot be named for legal reasons
SKDC’s business manager for neighbourhoods Mark Jones said: “As a large group they were intimidating and frightening to members of the public, often using extremely offensive language towards their targets.
“People were scared to say anything to them because of the fear of repercussions.
“We will always adopt a proportionate response when dealing with individuals who impact so negatively upon our communities. Educating and encouraging them to modify their behaviour but where that is proving ineffective, enforcement action will always follow.”
PC Kay McManus from Lincolnshire Police said: “If anyone sees a breach of these conditions set out by the court, police should be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.”
SKDC’s Antisocial Behaviour Officer Mel Sinnott added: “There were several other youths who did listen to the warnings we gave them. They stopped their behaviour and stayed away from the places we requested them to.”
In addition to the ASBOs, possession proceedings were sought on two SKDC council tenants for the parents’ lack of control of their children.
The new Costa Coffee shop at the leisure centre replaces the existing cafe.
Neil King, managing director at 1Life which manages the leisure centre, said: “As part of the five year contract extension that SKDC has awarded to 1Life, we have made a commitment to developing a range of new services at Grantham Meres. We wanted to be able to provide our centre visitors with a coffee shop solution that offered a quality product that was backed by excellent service.”