Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Banning Hooded Terrors

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Banning Hooded Terrors

Article excerpt

Byline: Angus Hoy, Chief Reporter

Masked thugs and vandals terrorising a Teesside estate are to be the latest targets of powerful Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

Council chiefs are to seek interim orders against two teenagers who have wreaked havoc in Middlesbrough's Pallister Park.

Law-abiding folk have been plagued by under-age drinking, drug-taking, vandalism, arson and graffiti.

And in a first of its kind in the town, they want the Anti-Social Behaviour Order to ban the yobs from wearing scarves and balaclavas to hide their identities.

Gangs - sometimes up to 50-strong - gather with motorbikes being ridden around the estate throughout the night.

Two children have been badly hurt in collisions with the unlicensed machines and locals fear a youngster will be killed if drastic action is not taken.

One resident even said it had become like "living in the Bronx".

Now Middlesbrough Council's enforcement team, with backing from police and community wardens, hope to ban two key ringleaders from the area.

They believe the youths - aged 16 and 19 - are seen as leaders by up to 25 others whose behaviour has left many residents afraid to leave their homes.

The council was today due to apply for an interim order against the 16-year-old and his 19-year-old counterpart early next week.

ASBOs have been successfully used in other parts of the town such as Hemlington, where teenager Nathan Patton was made the subject of an order and then locked up for breaching it.

Middlesbrough Council Enforcement Team Manager Jane Hill said ordinary people had had enough of the gang's antics.

"Stolen motorbikes in particular have become a huge problem at all times of the day and night," she said.

"Sometimes there are up to three bikes racing each other with up to three youths on one bike. …

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