Problems in the Downhall Park Way Area




We had an email over the weekend from a resident

Chris – we had BIG problems last night ( Fri 3rd ) youths started to gather around 7.40 and by 8.00 there were, I would estimate, 40+. All on the corner of Downhall Park Way / Bristol Close area. They were drinking, shouting and going onto our gardens, we called the police via 999 at 8.20 and they did respond quickly. It took them until 9.30 to restore order and at one point there were 3 police cars on the estate. Chris- this is getting out of hand – can we not get one of these dispersal orders set up or ASBO’s. We can’t take much more.

When we got this we asked some other local residents for their comments and got the following replies:

Hello ChrisB good idea, I’m surprised it wasn’t included at first

Hi Chris,Yes I would agree that we need something to curb these youth’s. It is getting a problem around here.I also feel that if the youths had some youth club or place where they could all go and meet it might keep them off the streets. Hi I can’t say, I was aware of this particular incident. I was enroute back from London at that time. I am aware of the general situation with youths at that end of the estate. If you set up an exclusion zone at that end, will it just move the
problem to the edge of the zone ??? eg down this end ? Will the new bill before Parliament at present cover protection of
property eg gardens ? Will the residents be able to use “reasonableforce” to protect there families ??? would this be a deterrent ??
Sorry, I can’t offer any constructive suggestions, other than:
a) make an area, where they can do as they please, well away from
b) remove the things, that make meeting points.
c) CCTV ???
d) extra, really bright lighting on PIR sensors ?
You have my support for whatever measures you and the council think may

Chris – thanks. yes we would support this fully. If you want us to attend a meeting or whatever, please let me know.Regards The short answer has to be yes, but that will not solve the problem only push
it else where amd possibly alienate some residents. But it is the right way
to go, given government policy.
BUT how about some creative thinking, to solve a community need?
The land on the Bellwinch estate, earmarked for the Doctor’s, would provide
the site for a nursery and youth facility, which I can see would be a lot
easier to get underway then finding a new doctor. Surely we could persuade the
planners to support the idea and Bellwinch. It would be good for there public
relations. They surely need it, as the mess and chaos they are causing is not
pleasant. A few visits from the appropriate authorities could work wonders.
This estate is an example of how the Thames Gateway area will develop as time
goes on, families growing, cars will proliferate and those who can will
leave. All caused by over development and lack of infrastructure.
I would welcome feedback to the idea.

Hi ChrisSorry I have not replied sooner but I have been away for the week-end. I’m afraid that I ahve to agree with the resident who sent the email. We have terrible trouble with the youngsters, they start collecting in our road first by the footpath in fact the other night 10 November I know that evening because my husband caught three youths chasing a fox across our Back Garden. He did ask if they knew the meaning pf Private Property – you can guess what the answer was I am sure. I would love to see something done about these kids. I do remember being young but this is now a growing nuisance problem.

There seems to be ongoing problems on Friday nights since July.
When I ride round on a Saturday morning there is always damage to the fencing and grafitti on signposts and walls. It seems whenever a dispersal is set up the kids just move to the next place. I believe in the summer the kids where coming from Wickford but now I think its Hullbridge. There is no easy answer to this one. I have a 16 year old son and apart from in front of his computer there really is nowhere for them to go. I would like to add that he does not go to Sweyne Park as I can never get him from his computer!!

Dear Chris Yes I would agree a dispersal order would be a good idea. A few people I have spoken to think the same.Things seem to be getting pretty bad around that end of the estate. From what I have heard things were worse on Friday than your e mail suggests I believe there was an incident involving a motorist.Please let me know the outcome so I can let other residents know.

I haven’t been affected by youth problems where I am and I don’t know exactly what a dispersal order involves to make a constructive comment. I would agree that gangs of youths hanging around anywhere would be a problem and very intimidating. I have a daughter of nearly 14yrs old and I do worry that she is getting to an age where she will want to go out in the evenings with friends and its not safe to walk anywhere near the park for many reasons, including the gangs. The trouble is there isn’t anywhere for them to go locally. We need the sports centre, a swimming pool, a cinema, youth club anything. Rayleigh is hopeless to entertain young people.

The kids on Friday is to be expected now taht dispersal orders or what ever have been granted for certain areas. The youths will just go to another area and it could have been anticipated that the Sweyne Park area would be one such place. It is a worrying feature of life in this area though.

We have now asked the police to set up a dispersal area here…. we will keep you advised of their response!

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