Operation Lion Cub cuts anti-social behaviour in WoodleyBy Jon Nurse
September 03, 2012
Anti-social behaviour in Woodley has fallen after police cracking down on the issue stepped up their campaign during the summer holidays.
Woodley’s neighbourhood officers say crime and anti-social behaviour have dropped in the town compared with the same period last year, but businesses and the town council faced bills for thousands of pounds after windows were smashed in a spate of vandalism.
Officers have seized alcohol and cannabis from youths in Vauxhall Park in Vauxhall Drive and confiscated more booze from underage teens drinking in High Wood.
PCSO Justin Butler said the town’s neighbourhood officers have increased their presence as part of Thames Valley Police’s Operation Lion Cub, which targets underage drinkers in an attempt to curb anti-social behaviour, while students have been off school.
He also warned those buying booze for underage teens can be fined £80.
Despite crime falling, vandals smashed two large windows at the town council’s offices at The Oakwood Centre in Headley Road – twice in two weeks – and Boots and the former Clinton Cards shop in the precinct had windows damaged in a separate attack.
Kevin Murray, Woodley Town Council’s service support manager, said: “It’s difficult to know what can be done to prevent future incidents.
“We have CCTV and liaise closely with the community police.
“We are not sure how the windows were smashed but thankfully we have toughened double glazed windows and only one pane was gone so the inside pane remained intact. There was no entry made and nothing taken.”
The centre has CCTV viewing the large patio door windows but the offenders damaged the windows from such a distance that they were not recorded by the cameras.
Replacing the windows cost the town council £1,600.
The centre also had a small office window smashed in a similar incident in February.
PCSO Butler said: “Things like this don’t happen every summer. We assume something was thrown but we didn’t find a projectile there which is a bit unusual.
“The CCTV doesn’t show anyone approaching the window.”
He added the team wants to pass the cost on to the perpetrators and welcomed any information to help catch those responsible.
PCSO Butler said operation Lion Cub was proving highly successful and added that officers were seeing less alcohol-related incidents than before.
But officers believe the sheer amount of alcohol that seems to be available to teenagers in the area is due to proxy buyers, who buy booze for underage drinkers.
Andy underage teenagers caught with alcohol can have a letter sent home to their parents after new guidelines were introduced.