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Plans to tackle youths at the Forum

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 December 2010

MY LIFE; JULIAN FOSTER

MY LIFE; JULIAN FOSTER

Archant

Youngsters responsible for anti-social behaviour around The Forum in Norwich could be made to meet those that they offend as part of a new crackdown on low level crime.

The City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team is treating anti-social behaviour at the state-of-the-art building on Millennium Plain as one of its current priorities.

Julian Foster, chairman of the city centre’s Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP), said they had received a number of complaints about youths hanging around outside the Forum and St Peter Mancroft Church.

He said: “They are all kids who have been barred from The Forum, Chapelfield, Castle Mall – all they can do is come to the edge of the Forum concourse.

“They stand outside St Peter Mancroft and shout abuse at people because they’ve been rejected.”

But instead of asking the police to target the troublemakers, Mr Foster, pictured, said he hoped they could get both the youths and the complainants together to try to thrash out a more long-term solution.

He said: “If we could get two or three of them together with two or three of the adults that are complaining to see if we can get both sides to see where the other is coming from. It is far more effective than letting the police loose on them.

“You bring the person who has caused the nuisance and sit them opposite the person who has complained and say that your behaviour has made this person feel like this. Did you realise?”

Mr Foster said they are also in discussion with St Peter Mancroft Church to see if the street pastors might be able to go and speak to some of the youths.

In addition to tackling anti-social behaviour at The Forum, the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team is also looking at targeting anti-social behaviour and crime in the area of St Faiths Lane and Cathedral Street which includes street drinking, litter, noise issues and threatening behaviour.

There is also an issue in this area with taxis leaving engines running and parking on double yellow lines causing obstruction.

The third priority is to work with partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area of St John’s Alley including alcohol and drug abuse within the church yard and the immediate surrounding area.

The next meeting of the SNT takes place on Saturday, January 8 when a police surgery will be held at the Castle Mall.

The next priority setting meeting takes place at the Friends Meeting Hall, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich at 7pm on Monday, February 7.

To contact your SNT call 0845 456 4567.

Are you having problems with anti-social behaviour where you live? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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