Youth provision is a major issue

PUBLISHED: 16:17 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

SIR – I write in response to several letters (The Comet, September 28). It is fair to say that a small minority of young people cause occasional nuisance to residents and workers in Letchworth. Equally it is fair to say that this issue is not confined to

SIR - I write in response to several letters (The Comet, September 28). It is fair to say that a small minority of young people cause occasional nuisance to residents and workers in Letchworth. Equally it is fair to say that this issue is not confined to Letchworth or to Hertfordshire and that problems of anti-social behaviour are far more acute in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, it is only right to point out that the majority of young people do act responsibly. Whilst many hang out in groups and have differing tastes we should not confuse this with anti-social behaviour per se.

Where anti-social behaviour occurs, particularly of the type and to the extent that occurred in Letchworth on September 2, offenders can expect to feel the full weight of the law. Whilst this was an isolated event, my officers progressed the investigation with the priority it deserved. Four male youths have been arrested, charged and already convicted of the crimes.

The issue of youth provision is one in which the Police have a vested interest and we continue to work closely with lead agencies. A number of activities already exist and a series of other initiatives are at varying stages of completion. The lead agencies are trying hard to identify and provide - within reason - what is wanted and the skateboard park on Norton Common is just one example of this. Of course, there will always be a small core of young people that shy away from any sort of provision and therein lies a challenge for us all. However, it is absolutely correct to say that some parents/guardians do not take responsibility for the behaviour of their children and I appeal to that minority to do so.

I end by correcting a comment on the topic of Letchworth Police Station. The Police Station is not closed and there are no immediate plans to close it. Whilst there have been some difficulties in staffing the enquiry office - due to unavoidable long-term staff absences - I envisage this particular issue will be resolved soon. Meanwhile, the police station continues to be the base for the Letchworth Neighbourhood Policing Team and other specialist departments. Furthermore, all new police recruits, irrespective of where they end up being stationed, begin their career at Letchworth police station for it is the training school for the entire constabulary.

Inspector GEOFF CAMP


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