Elderly living in terror

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

Gangs of teenage youths have left an elderly community in Spalding living in fear after numerous incidents where stones and fruit were thrown at them and property damaged.

Witnesses have also seen youths shouting through the windows of people’s homes in Thames Road and Severn Road and also spitting on them.

Police have managed to identify a group of 13-year-olds responsible for some of the 
anti-social behaviour and have spoken to parents, but one resident says it is not enough.

Ian Fowler (70) said he called the police when the new car belonging to his wife, Peggy, was scratched across the rear door.

He said: “It was heartbreaking for her because we couldn’t afford £800 for a professional respray.

“Elderly people living around here are very upset about what’s going on and afraid.

“If you say anything to the youths you get a lot of verbal – one of them mooned at a resident who challenged them.

“When I was young, if you did wrong you could expect a good hiding from an officer and then be dragged off by the ear home to father for another beating.

“Now that’s not allowed. Tree-hugging do-gooders have ruined it for everyone. But the teenagers need to know they are doing wrong.”

David Nicholls’ home in Severn Road has been targeted by youths throwing fruit – a problem which has also been reported in nearby Holbeach Road.

Mr Nicholls (53) said: “There are two big apple trees on the bank and youths are going along there and then aiming at the windows.

“It scares the life out of you when they hit but at least the youths are not close enough for the windows to break.

“The elderly around here are very frightened. It’s not just the apple throwing - we’ve had settees set alight in the playing field next to us and only in the last few days the police turned up just in time.”

Concerns have been escalated by the news residents within the Nene Court Complex are to lose their wardens.

Mr Fowler said: “We’ve been told the intercom system is being upgraded, but it takes 20 minutes to talk to someone if you need help - in that time someone could have died or their house burnt down.”

A spokesman for South Holland District Council said: “We’re aware of a few isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour, some of which happened during the school summer holidays.

“The police response was good and our staff remain vigilant to keep such incidents to a minimum.”

It is understood police have stepped up patrols in the area.

Intervention work by police is ongoing and referrals have been made to the anti-social behaviour team at South Holland District Council. Police are also working to identify the youths involved in Holbeach Road incidents. Anyone with information should to call police on 101.