'Gangs are trapping us in our own homes', say families at Stevenage's Glebe
PUBLISHED: 17:39 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:51 25 November 2016
Families who live above Stevenage’s Glebe shops say they feel intimidated, trapped in their own homes and terrorised by a gang of youths who are blighting the area with violence and drug use.
A resident who does not wish to be identified has told the Comet about their family’s own private hell of having to call neighbours to see if the coast is clear when they return from being out, feeling scared when they go to buy some milk and having to walk past massed groups of youths blocking stairwells where it’s claimed they meet to smoke drugs.
He said: “There are about 30 of them.
“They’ve told people they’re going to stab them, and people are calling each other in the flats to let them know when it’s safe to go in or out.
“It’s been escalating more and more every day.
“Last week I had to go out to get milk for the baby, they were standing over me and I just had to put my head down and walk right past. They say they’re going to beat you up. It’s very intimidating.
“You shouldn’t be trapped in your own home.”
The man, who lives in a council owned property, says the youths have been able to get in because lockable security doors are broken.
He says the stairwells are littered with drugs paraphernalia and that the youths urinate in the stairwells.
He added: “My next door neighbour, who is an elderly person, got a 4x2 plank of wood smashed through their window and they were trying to push it open while she was cooking.”
He says youngsters bang on the security doors with the sound rattling through his flat all night long so his children can’t sleep – and two of his children who don’t live with him can’t stay at weekends.
Herts police said it has received 11 calls from concerned people to date.
It says the local policing team has stepped up patrols, liaising with residents and stakeholders to address any concerns they may have and to encourage the reporting of anti-social behaviour and crime, which it says will not be tolerated. It has also issued a number of warning letters to be followed with community protection notices where necessary and is consulting with Stevenage Borough Council on the issue.