Saddleworth and Lees neighbourhood policing team recently sent this letter to parents in the Saddleworth area. They are concerned about an increases in anti-social behaviour as large numbers of youths, from around Oldham, arrange to meet using social networking, in Saddleworth.
As you are probably aware the last few weekends we have been dealing with large gatherings of 100+ youths in the Saddleworth area. This has been due to advertisements on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter which have encouraged youths from Saddleworth and other areas of Oldham to congregate in Saddleworth and Lees.
We are taking these reports very seriously and have sent messages to parents who have teenage children through schools and via our E Watch system to be understanding of our requests and to take responsibility for their child’s whereabouts.
As you may be aware last Friday night we encountered up to 150 youths in Uppermill. Large amounts of alcohol were seized from youths and fireworks were being thrown into the crowd. We will not tolerate such behaviour as the safety of members of the public and of our officers is paramount.
Please be aware that we have increased patrols in the affected areas, we have attended the local high school and held an assembly with each year and we are closely monitoring social networking sites to gather intelligence. Please know that the majority of the youths are well behaved and are not committing any criminal offences so we are only looking at a small minority of youths in these large groups.
If youths are found in possession of alcohol or found intoxicated we do have them collected by their parents and report them to the Community Safety Unit for further intervention by them including a referral to OASIS which is the drugs and alcohol intervention team. We will use body cams to help us identify persons responsible and we will prosecute offenders by using fixed penalty notices, summons and arrests.
We would like to thank parents and members of the public that are fully supporting us in this and those that have sent messages of support, we are very grateful that you can see this is a joint approach where we do have to work together to solve these issues. If you see a large group of youths gathering in your area or are experiencing problems with youths please let us know as soon as you can by phoning 101 or please dial 999 in an emergency.
Saddleworth and Lees Neighbourhood Policing Team.