Herts Ad Comment: Why we should speak up about teen gang issue

STOCK Generic office

STOCK Generic office - Credit: Archant

It is understandable that neither the police or our local councillors want to give any suggestion of a teen crimewave taking place in the district, but evidence is mounting to the contrary.

Over the past few months, the Herts Advertiser has reported on various incidents of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, drug dealing, assaults and thefts taking place in London Colney.

But it wasn’t until last week’s violent assault on a schoolboy was broadcast on social media that one resident had the courage to come forward and reveal the truth behind these various incidents.

He painted a grim picture of young criminals in the making, already exerting a tight grip over their community through a combination of intimidation and recrimination.

The police have told us that they have acted to tackle the ongoing incidents of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Haseldine Road, but this is only part of the problem. It is alleged that the gang responsible for these offences are also the same youths behind other crimes in the area.

We don’t want to be seen to be sensationalising this issue or scaremongering, but we believe it is in the public interest to raise awareness of what we have been told in the hope that decisive action is taken to tackle the situation before it escalates.

If you would like to speak to us about this teenage gang, we can promise full anonymity to anyone we speak to, and your details will not be passed on to the police or any other agency.

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The more people who come forward to report what is happening, the better idea we will have of the full extent of this problem and persuade the relevant authorities to take it seriously and do something to stop it continuing.