Eviction threat for family of antisocial firework-throwing youths as ‘robust’ action pledged

Josh Salisbury (04 November, 2020)

'We will take action against those involved, or indeed their families if necessary' says council official

39862Incidents of antisocial behaviour including fireworks have plagued Canada Water this year

Eviction action could be taken against parents whose children are launching fireworks in Canada Water, a meeting heard this week.

Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle chaired a meeting with Southwark police and a small group of community representatives to discuss the ongoing issue of antisocial behaviour.

Among the key antisocial issues plaguing residents is fireworks.

The council’s antisocial behaviour lead pledged stringent action against those responsible for launching the rockets.

“We will take action against those involved, or indeed their families if necessary,” said senior antisocial behaviour officer, Ken Dale.

Rotherhithe ward councillor, Kath Whittam, added: “Southwark Council are not afraid to evict people if they’re not behaving by their tenancy agreements.

“That’s happened in Rotherhithe, not on fireworks but on other things.”

The supply of fireworks is believed to be stemming from online purchases or from those older than eighteen giving fireworks to youngsters.

Mr Dale told the meeting: “All of the premises have been visited, and we’re not aware of any premises breaching their legal responsibilities this year.”

Trading Standards officers will visit Southwark premises to check they are not selling projectiles to youngsters, he said.

He also added that Southwark had served five eviction notices on tenants for the most serious types of antisocial behaviour and crime in general since the ban was lifted six weeks ago.

According to Inspector Tom Cornish, of Southwark Police, a key ringleader of an initial group behind the fireworks attacks is due to attend a police station next week.

Those involved in the group of eight have been forced to sign ‘behaviour contracts’, a step before dishing out an ASBO.

“It’s a small number setting of fireworks, some are providing an audience,” he said. “They’re putting themselves in huge danger as well as members of the public.

“One boy we have identified for setting off the fireworks. He’s been grounded by his parents, he’s got no record of contact with the police.

“He’s coming in [to the station] on the 11th.”

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, the council’s public safety lead – who described herself as a “arrest first, ask questions later kind of person” – told the meeting that antisocial behaviour often flared up around this time of year but that council officers were putting extra resources into tackling the issue on key nights expecting to see a flare-up.

Mr Coyle urged residents to report incidents, as this often leads to extra resources or CCTV being available.

“I want to ram home one message: There’s been some discussion about using online forums to make political points,” he also said.

“There’s no politics, I want people to be safe wherever they live in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.”

However Liberal Democrat figures have told the News they are unhappy there were no Liberal Democrat figures at the invite-only meeting, while Labour councillors were.

Contribute
diana says:

They want do anything because these days its the victims who are to blame for being there in the first place

L says:

Taking photos of youths from their penthouses but no investment in youth services in those areas this is an outcome of gentrification. I’m not condoning any of this despicable behaviour but there is under lying causes to this and Southwark Council is just putting more pressure on vulnerable families.

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