Teen vandals behind crime spree

Sarah HallFive teenage vandals who went on a week-long wrecking spree in part of Norwich have been caught by police.Sarah Hall

Five teenage vandals who went on a week-long wrecking spree in part of Norwich have been caught by police.

Police from the Sprowston and Spixworth Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) took swift action following a spate of damage which saw 18 offences committed in the Old Catton area between Thursday, February 4 and Thursday, February 11.

The vandals, aged between 15 and 16 years, caused damage to greenhouses, garden walls and fence panels to properties along Moore Avenue, Spixworth Road, Woodland Drive, Dixons Fold, Lancaster Close and Russell Avenue.

Police officers caught the teenagers on Saturday, February 13. Two were reprimanded, one was given a final warning, another received a conditional warning and one will attend youth court, after admitting the offences.

Sgt Peter Scott, from the Sprowston and Spixworth SNT, said: 'We take criminal damage very seriously and residents should be reassured that we have taken direct action against the offenders and bring them to justice.

'Criminal damage is classed as a low level crime but caused distress and inconvenience to those affected.

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'We're committed to tackling neighbourhood issues such as this and I would encourage members of the community to support police action by reporting offences or suspicious behaviour to the team'.

Last autumn the Evening News reported how families in New Catton experienced problems with vandals, who were pelting windows with eggs and tea bags and setting wheelie bins on fire.

And earlier this month, schools and organisations working with young people were urged to do more to stop children at risk of resorting to crime from slipping through the net.

A meeting of Norfolk County Council's scrutiny committee heard that youth crime costs Norfolk almost �50m a year, although the number of youngsters in the county entering the youth justice system is falling.

Councillors heard a system called the common assessment framework (CAF) could help identify potentially problematic youngsters before things got out of hand.

Some 4,000 staff, including teachers, nursery staff, health workers and police have been trained in using CAF but councillors said they hoped more people would take it up.

Police say people wanting to report a crime should only call 999 in an emergency and 0845 456 4567 when it is not an emergency, so positive action can be taken to make the area a safer place to live.

Have you scored a victory at challenging anti-social behaviour where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk