Three teenagers have been banned from Newark Town Centre following numerous incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) against residents and businesses.
Despite many interventions and repeated warnings, their distressing and threatening behaviour failed to stop, and Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire Police worked together to take legal action to give the victims the reassurance of their safety.
The three offenders, one aged 13 and two aged 14 appeared at the Family and Youth Court, Nottingham, where a catalogue of incidents was heard by the Magistrates involving the teenagers, including many anti-social and criminal incidents spanning almost a year, from October 2022 to June 2023, and predominately within Newark Town Centre.
Working in partnership over many months, the Police and District Council were determined to support the victims and prevent further incidents. Reports received from residents and businesses about the group’s behaviour included:
- Criminal damage
- Targeted harassment
- Drunken behaviour
- Verbal abuse and threats to shop staff
- Verbal abuse to members of the public
- Carrying weapons
- Assaults and threats to assault others
While the decision was not taken lightly to pursue this level of enforcement, each of the three teenagers was served with an Injunction which aimed to prevent them from engaging in Anti-Social Behaviour alone or with each other.
Appropriate agencies will continue to work with, and support, these young people, to bring about a sustained change in their behaviour.
Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said:
“When you read the list of offences that were heard by the judge, it is heart breaking and shocking at the same time.
“To think that any young person of this age would act in this way is awful, but these teenagers repeatedly threatened the safety and wellbeing of our community and this Injunction will hopefully stop that pattern of unacceptable behaviour in its tracks.
“The seriousness and frequency of their behaviour towards others was a real concern, and the impact on the victims, and the wider community, has been immense.
“While I understand that these teenagers are young, many residents have felt threatened and extremely intimidated by their actions, and we can’t just stand by and let that happen.
“Some of the footage that the teenagers themselves recorded and shared on social media is so horrific, that I find it difficult to conceive that it would ever happen in our community.
“Working with our Police partners, alternative options were tried before this Injunction was sought but we now hope that, with the continued support that has been available to them, they learn that ASB is not acceptable and their behaviour changes for the better.
“I worry for the teenagers’ future if they don’t change their pathway and I hope they will accept the support that is available to them.”
The Injunction prevents the three teenagers from:
- Entering or remaining within Newark Town Centre as defined by Map A unless accompanied by a parent or a professional from an organisation supporting them, for example a police officer, teacher or youth worker.
- Associating with each other anywhere in a public place within the Newark area as defined by Map B, unless accompanied by a parent or a professional from an organisation supporting them, for example a police officer, teacher or youth worker.
- Assaulting or threatening to assault or encouraging others to use or threaten violence towards any person residing in, visiting or otherwise engaged in a lawful activity within Newark as defined by Map B.
- Abusing or harassing any person residing in, visiting or otherwise engaged in a lawful activity within Newark, as defined by Map B.
If the teenagers do not comply with the above terms, a Court may impose a detention or supervision order. A Power of Arrest is attached to all terms of the Injunction.
Councillor Taylor continues: “Anti-social behaviour can be extremely distressing to those affected by it and we are working hard, alongside our Police partners, to improve safety and security within our district and I hope residents can feel reassured that we are taking action against ASB perpetrators who think they can target our community and get away with it.”
Inspector Charlotte Ellam, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood said: “The securing of these injunctions has been as a result of tireless work by NSDC and the Neighbourhood Policing Team to tackle anti-social behaviour and youth crime, and ultimately to protect the public.
“We have a range of options available to us in order to deal with individuals who are responsible for ASB, and while we will always look to intervene, educate and support young people to take a different path, there are occasions when enforcement action is necessary.
“These injunctions demonstrate that as a partnership we are absolutely willing to take strong action in response to ASB and youth crime, and I hope it sends a message to the community that such behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
Newark and Sherwood District Council is committed to reducing Anti-Social Behaviour across the district and is doing all it can to improve residents’ safety. It recently announced that it is increasing its own resources by recruiting a new Senior ASB officer and, continues to work alongside partners from Nottinghamshire Police and the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver the Safer Streets Project, through which £1million has already been invested to fund security measures including street lighting, CCTV across a number of town centre locations, security gating and more.