Eight children charged with antisocial behaviour in Letchworth town centre

A group of eight children have been charged with antisocial behaviour in Letchworth. Picture: Archan

A group of eight children have been charged with antisocial behaviour in Letchworth. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A group of children aged between 12 and 15 have been charged with a spate of antisocial behaviour offences in Letchworth town centre.

The eight youths were charged with a total of 28 offences, which include theft, common assault, criminal damage, public order offences, robbery and being in possession of a bladed article.

Police set up Operation Kinematic, which has been running for six months, in response to an increase in the amount of antisocial behaviour being reported in Letchworth town centre.

A group of eight young people aged between 12 and 15 have been identified as regularly being involved.

Since March, officers from the Letchworth and Baldock Safer Neighbourhood Team have used a multi-agency approach to identify the children involved and met with schools and parents to try to resolve some of the issues.

They have also used dispersal orders with increased proactive patrols, two of which have been granted so far this year to cover Letchworth town centre, the first over the weekend of May 25 and 26, and the second on August 2.

These orders have helped to minimise the impact of the children's behaviour, as they allow police to remove people from an area and make it a crime not to comply.

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Sgt Simon Mullan from the safer neighbourhood team said: "This group of young people have truly affected the lives of local residents with their persistent antisocial behaviour.

"I hope our actions have reassured the community that we do take this kind of behaviour very seriously, however there is not always a short-term fix.

"As well as dealing with the offences that have been committed, we also need to look for long term solutions to prevent the behaviour continuing. This includes working with parents and schools and referrals made to diversionary projects.

"I would like to thank the local community for their continued patience and support with this matter."

Anyone with concerns around antisocial behaviour can contact their local safer neighbourhood team on 101.