‘Feral’ gang continues to run riot

Coun Prestwood said that youths are littering and causing damage to the ball park in Hemswell Cliff (pictured).
Coun Prestwood said that youths are littering and causing damage to the ball park in Hemswell Cliff (pictured).

The chairman of Hemswell Cliff Parish Council has faced criticism after speaking out about a gang of ‘feral kids’ which he says are causing mayhem and criminal damage.

Coun Graham Prestwood spoke to the Rasen Mail last week about the ongoing issues caused by gang members who are smashing windows, jumping on cars and starting fires.

Facebook users have now criticised Coun Prestwood for the comments, however he feels the article has helped highlight the current situation.

He said: “The article is more realistic. On the whole it is a bit quieter now and I have noticed less police cars in the area.

“But it certainly is still an issue.”

One of the many problems the parish council, police and WLDC face is being unable to identify the youths.

In January, WLDC installed CCTV cameras in key locations around Hemswell Cliff in a bid to prevent crime in the village.

Coun Prestwood argues that the cameras were designed to tackle anti-social behaviour incidents concerning the ‘traveller’ population in the area.

He said: “They worked incredibly well as a deterrent in the first six weeks.”

But as Coun Prestwood reveals, gang members have found a way of committing crime and causing damage without being identified on CCTV.

He said: “They are wearing hoods and face masks in front of CCTV cameras.

“It is disappointing for everyone to see.”

Lincolnshire Police have vowed to take action against the gang.

Inspector Nigel Key, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for West Lindsey, said: “We are working closely with WLDC and a number of other agencies to address the causes for the anti-social behaviour rise the community is currently seeing.

“We would urge residents experiencing the issues to engage with local police.”

This all comes as the latest crime figures for the Welton and Hemswell Cliff district have been released.

Figures published on the Police UK website reveal that in April this year there were 23 cases of anti-social behaviour.

There has also been an annual rise in anti-social behaviour, with 20 anti-social behaviour incidents in April 2017.

The April 2018 figures reveal all of the anti-social behaviour incidents occurred in Hemswell Cliff itself.

Coun Prestwood has praised the work Lincolnshire Police are doing day and night in Hemswell Cliff to restore order and put an end to the anti-social behaviour.

Coun Prestwood said: “Police are doing all they can. It is not as simple as ‘carting’ a gang of youths off.”