‘Report stone-throwing youths’ plea
New Forest residents who witness stone-throwing by groups of youths or individuals are urged to report it in a bid to reduce antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.
The Safer New Forest Partnership is concerned at the growing number of stone-throwing incidents, particularly in Hythe, Netley View and Dibden Purlieu.
Residents and businesses have been victims of stone-throwing at their properties; buses and cars have had stones thrown at their windows as they travel past and police have received false calls to attend incidents where youths are waiting to throw stones at the police vehicles as they arrive.
Two males have been arrested so far, but police are keen to hear from anybody who has information which could lead to further arrests.
Sgt Simon Flint, from New Forest East Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:
"Antisocial behaviour and mindless acts of damage cause unnecessary anxiety and concern for your community.
My team will deal with these issues with our partner agencies, but I urge you to report any incidents you witness or if you are a victim. Beat surgeries will be set up in your area and advertised by various methods, anyone is welcome to come and speak with us, so please do. mIf they prefer, people can submit any information they have anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”
PC Adrian Woodhead, who patrols the Netley View and Dibden area, said:
“We would like to know who is doing this kind of thing, committing potentially dangerous offences which could cause a road accident or somebody to be injured.”
Cllr Jill Cleary, New Forest District Council portfolio holder for housing and communities, said:
“Stone-throwing is an act of vandalism, like smashing car wing mirrors, breaking glass bottles in play parks or spray-painting on walls, often done on impulse by small groups of bored youths for a buzz or a dare, but it creates a great deal of distress to the victims. I would appeal to the public not to turn a blind eye to this antisocial behaviour in your community, report those involved to help your area become a nicer place to live.”