Next Wednesday’s Cabinet 3: – Great Wakering Youth Provision

Another item on Wednesday night is about improving youth facilities in Great Wakering. The District Council has budgeted ?117,500 and Great Wakering Parish Council if offering ?10,000.

The cabinet are being advised to spend some of this money on two teen shelters on Great Wakering Recreation Ground. These will only cost about ?15,000 – ?20,000 so there is scope to do much more after this….

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  • Yes, most of it is coming out of the district council budget. But one of the messages we get over and over again from residents is that we need more facilities for young people.

    Somehow I think you are going to disagree with this 🙂

  • Yes I do disagree.

    Look at these lines from your committee meeting message:

    What is being done about the broken trees and increase in rubbish around the Rayleigh Leisure Centre
    Why should children have to put up with graffitti for years compared to graffitti on street furniture

    Who do you think does this….and please don’t tell me that because our local yoof’s are bored it’s ok to cause problems. They have a new Skate Board park yet still don’t respect the area ( how much did that cost ? ) Why not spend the money on effective policing to catch these yobs in the first place. And before anybody says it’s the minority of kids that do it, maybe, but it sure affects the majority of people that live here.

    What next, courses on how to spray graffitti or guidence on the best place to buy cheap booze…

  • Rayleigh Resident you couldn’t be more right.

    The only time I have seen police on Priory Chase/Temple Way is when I have had to call them out because gangs of youths upto 25 in number are making a nuisance.

    I often wonder why people have children when they think it acceptable to allow their children to roam the streets until the early hours, on a school night. Don’t they set curfews these days? I guess they think that whilst their child is making a mess in the streets, their homes are being kept clean?

  • RR: There is generally a small hard core of young people who will want to cause trouble whatever facilties are available locally. But the smaller we can make that hard core, by having the right facilities to divert teenagers away from trouble, the easier it is to deal with who’s left.

    Having the right facilities can make a drastic difference – for example the bowling alley in Hockley has reportedly made a huge difference there. We generally need a carrot and stick approach, and the councillors in Wakering have been pressing for more carrots.

    – Best Wishes Chris

  • Chris,

    I do understand your response but the issue remains – the majority of decent law abiding people see very little of the stick when it comes to dealing with the hard core of chav’s & yobs who are in & around the area.

  • These kids, yobs, chavs, call them what you will are the children of somone, where are the mums and dads of these youngsters at a time when they need strong leadership? Down the pub maybe? Do the parents of these kids really care what happens? I would like to think that most parents do care about their offspring but there is a hardcore that think that when their kids get into their teens, their responsibility ceases. If you think that I am being hard on parents, just take a walk into Rayleigh Town centre on a Friday night or any time Saturday.

  • Speaking as a former secondary school teacher – parents attitudes for kids in schools are “if they did it in school that’s your problem, nothing to do with me” If parents have that attitude about their childs education and behaviour in school – I doubt very much that their attitude would change when their offspring are running amok in the streets.

  • Mike,

    You make a very good point about the town centre on a Saturday – what happended to the PSO’s that used to patrol to keep an eye on these gangs of kids that congregate. Rayleigh is still a nice place to live but it won’t be for much longer if this problem is not tackled.

    Chris / Ron / Jackie:

    Do these patrols still exist.

    If not then who decided they should stop.

    If yes then why are they not being more effective.

    Why do they not patrol in the area/s where there are problems ( ie the Leisure Centre ) when these kids are around, usually between 9.00pm – 11.00pm, do they only work 9am-5pm ?

    What ongoing plans do Rayleigh police have in place to tackle this problem – short term fixes are no good as these yoof’s just come back once the police have driven off.

    Don’t waste £20K on shelter’s, spend it on CCTV around the affected areas…I’m pretty sure this would receive wide support from tax payers.

    I would be very grateful if you could raise this whole issue at your next meeting, it’s a real & genuine concern to many of us.


  • Let’s not go down the route of CCTV for the town centre, we should demand proper policing. All the very entertaining programmes on television that use CCTV footage to show life on the streets demonstrate that even with CCTV, crime still occurs. I seem to recall there are CCTV cameras in the high street near Woolworth’s and the Pink Toothbrush anyway.

    CCTV footage of some chap getting his head kicked-in and the police turning up later to intervene clearly is reactive policing. Much better to have a proactive approach where a police presence (or threat of police presence) may stop the guy getting his head kicked-in in the first place.

    Besides, we have enough intrusive camera surveillance as it is, without asking for more. I can’t even drive my car to work without being tracked by ANPR cameras every day, why should we have even more of this dubious technology?

    I completely agree about the high street at night though, when the shops close it is basically abandoned to skateboarding hoodies and adult drinkers. What is needed is some continental style cafes where parents may want to take their families in the early evening, rather than the current selection of adult oriented pubs and restaurants.

  • ST1 – we do demand proper & effective policing – the problem is that we don’t get it….hence the views being posted on this site. I totally agree with you, there can be substitute for a couple of coppers in the High Road at night sorting out these yobs.

  • It seems to me that as far as police foot patrols are concerned, the police force seem to think that the town starts and ends at the high street. This is the only place that you may be likely to see a police foot patrol, and it’s great for shoppers, pub users and the businesses, but the rest of the town (residential areas) gets no attention at all – except for the occasional speed check.

    An article in the Echo this week highlights this attitude – the story was about a woman in Southend who was injured by a cyclist riding on the pavement. The Southend police stated that they had been cracking down on pavement cycling in the town, but reading further, what this actually meant was that they had set up some extra patrols in the high street to catch rogue cyclists.

    Clearly you cannot expect a foot patrol to visit every side road every day. But some visible policing once in a while would make residents feel safer and would act as a deterrent to those intent on trouble. It could even be done by bike to make it easier to cover more ground.

    And it can’t be beyond the wit of man to develop a route for a patrol car that takes in known trouble areas of an evening.

  • Forgiveme butting in, this is obviously a subject that you feel strongly about and an ongoing issue of concern to us all. Please may I make a suggestion that you contact PC Graham Nuth? Youth nuisance is on his list of priorities. Here is the link:
    I hope that works! If you want to get more involved, there is also the opportunity to join the Neighbourhod Action Panel; the details should be on the same webpage but ifnot,I’m sure he’s love to hear from you.
    Hope this helps.

  • Chris, do you or does anyone else know what the problem was last night near the junction of Rayleigh High Street and Love Lane? I got caught up in the traffic jam around 7.30. Seemed to be numerous police cars heading that way.

  • I’m sure it wasn’t either Chris, as both a dog and cat owner in the past, I couldn’t really understand what some of the comments meant. Surely if you own dogs and are a responsible owner, you wouldn’t have problems with enforcement of the laws. Why the big fuss? While my son was playing cricket for westcliff, you would not believe the amount of dog owners who allowed their dogs to foul Chalkwell Park cricket pitch and then walk away and when you asked them to clear up the mess, got a mouthful of abuse, and before anyone has a go at me, I have owned dogs since the 60’s. All we need is responsible owners and we wouldn’t have all this fuss.

  • Dear Chris / Ron / Jackie,

    Do you have date when / if you are going to raise my concerns ( which were ) re: PSO’s in the town centre and general youth nuisance,

    Do these patrols still exist.

    If not then who decided they should stop.

    If yes then why are they not being more effective.

    Why do they not patrol in the area/s where there are problems ( ie the Leisure Centre ) when these kids are around, usually between 9.00pm – 11.00pm, do they only work 9am-5pm ?

    What ongoing plans do Rayleigh police have in place to tackle this problem – short term fixes are no good as these yoof’s just come back once the police have driven off.


    ps: I have just been reading a very good piece on the Times On Line web site:

    Dare I suggest a donation to this would be a lot better than wasting money on drinking sheds for teenage asbo’s….and would get far more support.

  • I have been to Rayleigh High Street/ Websters Way in the evening twice this week and both times have seen PCSO patrols. I don’t know if they also went to Rawreth as I seldom have occasion to go there.

  • Perhaps they need to patrol the Rayleigh train station of a night time. I had to call the police last night whilst waiting on Station Road to pick up my partner at 8pm, when my car was surrounded by approximately 100 youths. Now I am not easily intimidated but with a crowd that size it’s hard not to be.

    I have stated on this site before that the only time I have seen the police where I live is when I have had cause to call them out in the past to deal with rowdy mob behaviour. The few times I have gone into Rayleigh Town Centre I have yet to see an officer patrolling.

    Now, considering that a percentage of our council tax goes to the police, can someone please tell me exactly what our money pays for?

    On a sidenote, I have heard through the grapevine, that ASDA is considering following in the footsteps of the South Woodham Ferrers store, and imposing a curfew on the store, this would mean a police presence and on the spot fines for any youth being in the vacinity of the store after curfew. Highly successful in SWF, lets hope it has the same success here.

  • I read last year that Rayleigh train station had a bad record for intimidation, assaults and general vandalism. This was particularly bad late at night, this is obviously because access to the station is 24 hour. I usually arrive at the station between 6.45pm and 7.30pm and on most days the youths are there already. I cant see any improvement unless the station is closed overnight.

  • Surely allowing access to the train station 24/7 is asking for trouble – I could understand it if trains were running through the night, but as this simply is not the case, why allow access? Perhaps this will change after a drunken youth falls on the tracks at 2 in the morning and kills himself? Isn’t it always the case that preventative action only ever occurs after disaster?

  • I don’t know what was going on last night Corey; I live just around the corner from the station and had just left home in my car (to take my children to the wonderful facility that is the Grange Community Centre) when I saw the huge crowd of young people you were talking about.

  • I have no idea how it works, I discovered that this was being considered by the management of ASDA when I had a chat with an employee. It seems that quiet a bit of damage has occured within the store, such as handles being broken off the freezers, and items being stolen from the store by youths.

  • The youths that hang around the station and town centre are not just locals. I have seen large amount of youngsters getting off trains at Rayleigh from both London bound and Southend bound trains. It appears that we seem to be the centre of the universe for these gatherings. Until the police make it clear that these youths are not welcome in Rayleigh, it will only get worse unfortunately.

  • I was only there until my partner arrived from London, but whilst waiting one police car had arrived and parked a little further down the road (only saw this as I drove off), however, the gang was around my car (had to beep on my horn just to move) but did not see any officers.

  • Thanks to some loony running along the tracks near Wickford tonight and making me late, I took a cab home, the cab driver was talking about the amount of kids gathering late at night around Rayleigh Station. The worst nights being Thursday, Friday and saturday’s. He saw about 70 youngsters on Friday night just hanging around, probably looking for some kind of ‘fun’. Maybe this is something that could be addressed at the next Area Committee meeting. the Police must know of this problem, so what do they intend to do about it. If we do not address some of these anti-social behaviour problems now, this lovely town will surely deteriorate. I brought this issue up some time ago and got knocked back because some people could not see what was happening, well it is happening now.

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