Monday, 18 August 2014

A Local Horror Story

I came across this story from a correspondent of mine, and have since heard of other incidents by the same youths on BBC Radio Jersey:

Welcome to Jersey! Welcome to drunken threatening behaviour.

I was in my car parked in Snow Hill car park at 6pm today. With my kids. Three drunken yobs surrounded the car, one of them jumped on the bonnet twice, despite me hitting the horn constantly.

My daughter (just about 9) was in hysterics. I was expecting the foot coming thought the front window and the car was unlocked. What can I can do in this situation to defend my kids and myself? They were having fun. I was not. Because I knew that the car was unlocked.

And the car is big and tall. Nissan pathfinder. It does take the effort to jump that high. And when you know that there is somebody inside, a female who cannot come outside and smash your face in.

I find this quite horrific. It is to be expected that Friday or Saturday nights that the level of rowdy behaviour increases, especially in St Helier. The Weighbridge and Snow Hill are, as far as I can remember, known trouble spots, best avoided. But at 6 pm on a Saturday evening, one does not expect this kind of behaviour to take place!

What advice would you give? Here are a few suggestions of mine.

First of all, if your car does have remote locking, the key switch will work from inside even when the key is in the ignition. So the car can be locked, which at least prevents someone just opening a door.

Second, make sure the police HQ number is programmed into your mobile. They may not be able to get there at once, but even the act of phoning may cause the troublemakers to run off.

f you have phoned, but can leave the area, do so, and tell the police where you are. Or if you have left without calling the police, phone them as soon as possible to report the incident. They may catch the troublemakers frightening other drivers, but at the very least, the incident will have been logged. They may also be able to take other witness statements, and built up profiles of the miscreants.

That is important – if a pattern emerges of trouble, then the police can target the area. If they receive a number of reports, they may be able to identify the culprits or see if there is any local CCTV which could capture them. But if they receive no information, they will have no pattern, and in fact may be unaware that this kind of problem is arising.

A similar incident happened in Hull earlier this month. Its shows how the police can take action, and while “words of advice” is the lowest level of intervention, if incidents are repeated, stronger action can be taken:

“A GANG of drunken teenagers ‘ambushed’ cars as they passed through East Riding villages, spitting at motorists and hurling beer cans. Some of the louts were spotted laying in the road to bring traffic to a standstill, before others threatened terrified drivers.”

A Humberside Police spokesman said: "We received a call at 9.37am on Friday, August 2, reporting a group of youths causing alarm and disruption to traffic and road users in the Preston area of East Yorkshire.

"A further call was received shortly afterwards, reporting similar behaviour from what appeared to be the same youths on the stretch of road approaching the Sandhill Nursery.

"Police were able to attend and speak to the youths on the basis of reports received, which warranted words of advice.

"Subsequent reports that were made following the original call, which details incidents of a more serious nature, including an allegation of indecent exposure, are now being followed up.

"Police would like to speak to those people who called in anonymously in order to further their enquiries.

"The identity of one of the group has been confirmed and police are additionally appealing for anyone who may be able to assist in identifying other members" 


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