Stop the Gang Menace

A WOMAN, who lives in an area known for its anti-social behaviour from gangs of youths, has been left severely shaken after her windows were broken with an iron bar. Sheila Carlton, of Ramsdell in Stevenage, was alone in her home when the incident happene

A WOMAN, who lives in an area known for its anti-social behaviour from gangs of youths, has been left severely shaken after her windows were broken with an iron bar.

Sheila Carlton, of Ramsdell in Stevenage, was alone in her home when the incident happened between 7.30pm and 8.25pm last Wednesday, March 4.

She said: "I was in the shower so didn't see anything. There was a gang because I heard them, but I didn't think anything of it until I went downstairs."

The front downstairs bay window had been hit with an iron bar, which was left at the scene, and the glass was cracked. The back door had also been targeted by the vandals, with the glass cracked.

Mrs Carlton called the police at 8.25pm and officers conducted a search of the area, but to no avail.

She said: "I was crying my eyes out and was really, really shaken. I have grandchildren so it was lucky they weren't here."

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"I get a lot of trouble up here," she added. "Children throw things at the conservatory, and they have damaged my fence panels."

Stevenage Borough Council member Liz Harrington, councillor for the Bedwell ward, said it is a known problem in the Bedwell area. "We are fully aware of these problems," she said. "Children hang around in gangs and cause a lot of mischief, which is an ongoing problem and the police are aware of it.

"There have been problems because the kids don't have much to do. We are trying to get them active in different things and they are responding."

Football events and midnight skating are two examples of some of the events organised by the council so far, and it is hoped facilities for French boules at Bedwell park can be provided, but Cllr Harrington admitted that resources are limited. "We try to do what we can," she said.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the Ramsdell incident. Anyone with information, call the non-emergency number 0845 3300 222 and quote crime reference number E1/09/1562.

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