Pensioners on patrol in bid to stop vandals

PUBLISHED: 11:24 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

A PENSIONER says he has been forced to set up his own patrols to help ensure the safety of villagers from vandals. The 65-year-old man, who wishes to be known only as Mr Moule, has joined forces with two other pensioners to keep check on unruly youths, w

A PENSIONER says he has been forced to set up his own patrols to help ensure the safety of villagers from vandals.

The 65-year-old man, who wishes to be known only as Mr Moule, has joined forces with two other pensioners to keep check on unruly youths, who he says have been causing havoc in Melbourn.

The patrols come after a spate of car vandalism hit the village.

Mr Moule, who does not live in Melbourn, said: "On Saturday night we walked around the village and did hourly checks from 7pm until midnight.

"The previous weekend saw a lot of damage caused, and we thought it might happen again.

"I am prepared to help keep a look out for trouble. And if that means confronting them, I will do so - I am happy to make a citizen's arrest.

"Police are aware of the situation. But there should be a greater police presence because the situation can only get worse

"I don't live in the village, but I am worried for my friends who do."

Mr Moule found his car vandalised when he left a friend's home.

He said: "The side panel had been knocked in - it must have been kicked through.

"And it wasn't just my car. A trail of damage was left all down the road - they must have been out of control."

One resident said problems caused by a group of youngsters had increased over the last 18 months.

She said: "At 63 you don't need these sorts of problems.

"We have lived in the village for years, but I'm starting to regret the day we moved into this house.

"I know that it's not all the youngsters, and I know that they can get up to mischief.

"But this is not just kids misbehaving - these ones are very threatening.

"I will not leave the house in the evening. This is a serious problem for us and something needs to be done.

"My son-in-law had eggs thrown at his car, and it could have caused a serious accident.

"And as for these ASBOs - I think they look at them as a trophy."

A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: "We are aware of increased concern from residents about an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in Melbourn.

"This issue has been raised with the South Cambridgeshire anti-social behaviour task group, and patrols in the area have been increased.

"While we understand that people are concerned, we wouldn't advise them to conduct their own patrols, but to report incidents immediately to police."

Melbourn Parish Council vice-chairman Bob Trimble said: "I urge residents to make sure that they report incidents.

"We need to alert the police, or else we will not be considered an area that needs such help.

"I would like to see the situation improved, but I understand that we have a limited budget that needs to be spread out.

"We need more presence at night."

Mr Moule met residents and members of the parish and district councils at the Community Hall in Vicarage Close on Monday night, and insisted that until something was done to control anti-social behaviour, he would continue patrolling the streets.

He said: "We were all in agreement.

"I believe that they will now decide what action needs to be taken, and I'm starting to feel like things can move forward.

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