Sea cadets in yob attack in Stevenage

SEA cadets have found themselves under siege from hooligans who regular hurl missiles at their unit. For some weeks members of the Stevenage Sea Cadet Corps have been under attack when they meet at their unit headquarters on Shephall View on Tuesday and F

SEA cadets have found themselves under siege from hooligans who regular hurl missiles at their unit.

For some weeks members of the Stevenage Sea Cadet Corps have been under attack when they meet at their unit headquarters on Shephall View on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

But things came to a head last week when a brick was launched over the fence and narrowly missed hitting a member of staff before smashing through the windscreen of a car belonging to the officer in charge, Tracey Attridge.

Ms Attridge, who has overall responsibility for the 10 to 18-year-old cadets, explained: "A rock came over the fence and one of my staff went outside to see if any cars had been hit. While she was looking, another missile came over and only just missed her.


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"My main worry is that someone is going to get seriously hurt."

Ms Attridge says a group of between four and eight youths gather outside the sea cadets' unit, whatever the weather, and throw bottles, rocks, bricks, stones, and have even launched odd bits of drainpipe at the building.

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"It happens every time we meet," she said. "We are there to encourage our cadets, and we are doing a good job keeping them entertained and occupied, but there is a small element of youngsters who want to disrupt that.

"It's been a nightmare and it's not fair on our cadets. It's very disruptive, but the main thing at the moment is safety.

"If it carries on, parents won't be willing to bring their children and staff won't be as loyal. It may well affect the turnout."

A cadet, who did not want to be named, said: "The youths find rubbish in the area and throw it at the unit. Last week we had a few members of staff looking after the cadets because we were trying to keep it nice and calm in the building, but it got to the point where even the staff were scared."

Ms Attridge said that on each occasion the unit has been targeted by yobs the police have been called, adding: "At the moment we have left it in the hands of the police who have promised to do regular patrols on the nights we are there."

A spokesman for Herts Police said: "On every occasion, officers have been sent out and searched the area to see who was around. In some instances, officers have seen some youths and asked them to move on."

Shephall View is covered by a dispersal order, put in place in October under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

It allows police to disperse groups causing - or likely to cause - harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public. Failure to comply can result in arrest.

Anyone with any information about the attacks is asked to call Herts Police on 0845 3300 222.

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