Residents in a Skegness street are calling for action against a group of thugs on mopeds responsible for a spate of vandalism that has been making their lives a misery for months.
One 73-year-old woman, who lives in what should be a quiet avenue close to town, was last week having to pay out £350 for a leaded pane of glass in her front door to be replaced, after a rock shattered it last month.
Before that the woman said cat litter was thrown at the property from the street, landing all over her car and in the doorway.
“It was such a mess for me to clear up. I’ve had my 87-year-old brother, who is convalescing, with me and my 39-year-old son. who has a lung condition, both in hospital and I’ve been worried about leaving the property to visit them for fear of what might happen,” she said. “They are both back home now, but my brother is recovering from a mild heart attack and I’m sure all the strain from the vandalism has had something to do with it.”
The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of becoming a target again, says the incidents in Beresford Avenue have been going on for 18 months - but in spite of the culprits, believed to be a group of males aged in their late teens to mid-twenties, being caught on CCTV, no-one has yet been arrested.
She says several neighbours have been affected, with windows broken, dustbins kicked over, garden ornaments smashed and flower pots trashed.
Further down the street, another resident said she and her husband were woken up about 1am in the morning by a loud crash.
She said: “Our bedroom is downstairs and my husband rushed out to see what was going on. He couldn’t see anything until the morning when we discovered a coach wheel bolt stuck in the first pane of glass in the double glazing.
“One of our neighbours has CCTV footage showing a youth picking up the bolt, looking at it to see what it is and then throwing it at the window.”
The neighbour says he doesn’t know what else they can do after giving evidence to the police. “They seem to target the vulnerable or to get reaction. When I shouted at them, one of them mooned at me.
“One day they will pick on the wrong person if they keep on doing this.”
Owners of the Chalfonts B&B believe the street lights being switched off at night have a lot to do with it. “We’ve had a lot of complaints from our guests about this - some of our elderly guests are too frightened to go out at night. So far we haven’t been targeted but we’ve lived here for 14 years and have never known so much vandalism in the area.”
Police have made an appeal for witnesses regarding the rock smashing the pane of glassin the resident’s door on September 27. Anyone who was in the area at the time, or knows anything about the incident, is asked to contact police by calling 101, quoting Incident 440 of 27 September, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the incident number. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.