In the early hours of August 2nd, Glencoyne Square Residents were kept awake by the unruly behavior and noise of a group of young people who seemed hell-bent on destruction. They roared vehicles round and round before setting fire to them. They wrecked bikes and damaged trees, vandalising and destroying the green space.
As Residents walked across the square throughout the day they shook their heads, some pausing to share their sadness, disappointment and anger. For some it was all too reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s when this kind of behavior was rife. But most had hoped those days were behind the Southmead Community and that its reputation as a no-go, rough estate was fading.
The Mead published pictures of the damage on our Facebook page and we have republished them here, along with a selection of comments by Residents who follow our page.
“The police know who they are but can’t do nothing but record them on their phones!! Which the gang are laughing at because they know it won’t go any further!! Back in the day the police had more authority and now they have none!” ………. but if we take it into our own hands we end up getting in trouble for it!! It’s a joke I’m fed up with them around here and for the safety of my children when they are riding around on stolen motorbikes in the middle of the day!!!”
” Constant complaints to the Police and Council. How can people have the privilege of having council property only to put residents through hell and destroy the area when so many families would love to have properties to bring up their families in nice home. Makes me sick. Come on Bristol City Council you have the power and the Authority to do something about this and let people know if they do not respect their neighbours and the area they will be evicted everyone knows who is responsible so do something!!”
“I think it’s bad how they’re allowed to group around the lane right there intimidating residents as they walk through. It’s really not fair on us or the elderly who are too scared to walk that way and walk further to avoid them and then you get the police sat in there are just watching them”.
More recently we heard reports that the subsequent police presence had been ineffectual but vociferous, “When the police speak to them in that way they’re bound to get abuse back, and then the police return the abuse and the disrespect just escalates – how can this be helping?”
Councillor Helen Godwin commented, “[Councillor] Brenda Massey and I will be speaking to the police on this issue. We need to think about preventative measures and making sure that we aren’t allowing troublemakers to have free reign of the square or other areas. We will follow up with updates”.
The disruptive behavior has continued throughout the month and as September’s printed edition of The Mead goes to press on 30th August, the Bristol Post reports:
nine people have been banned from Southmead after police on horseback [were] called in to tackle ‘antisocial behaviour’. Avon and Somerset police have issued a series of ‘section 35 orders’ prohibiting people from the Southmead area for a minimum of 48 hours. Several riot vans and police on horseback were used to enforce the orders and so far one person has been arrested for breaching the ban. (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news)
We hope to bring you updates from our local Councillors as soon as possible. Do contact us if you’d like to share your thoughts or experience about these events.