Vigilante attacks fear against young yobs hurling racist abuse and golf balls at cars on Sheffield estate

Fed-up residents claim their estate has been abandoned by police and they are on the brink of taking the law into their own hands to tackle a gang of yobs making their lives hell.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 2:07 pm
Updated Friday, 12th May 2017, 1:27 pm
Problems have been reported in this area of Shiregreen. Picture: Google

People living in Shiregreen told how a gang of about 20 unruly teenagers gather most evenings outside shops in Hartley Brook Road to drink alcohol, spout racist abuse, and even throw rocks and golf balls at passing cars.

One angry motorist who the group picked on allegedly got out and punched one of the teens to the ground.

Residents say their constant calls for police action have fallen on deaf ears in the last few months and the situation has become so desperate that people are on the verge of carrying out vigilante attacks against the gang.

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A 43-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said she feared for her own safety and that of her husband and two children every night.

She added: "They have shouted racist abuse at Asian people, I see them throwing stones and golf balls at cars, they basically have a go at anyone. It makes you feel unsafe to leave your house."

The woman added that about two months ago the gang threw stones at a car and the driver got out and "knocked out" one of the boys. In addition, they threw stones at her and her 54-year-old husband on one occasion while they were in the garden of their home in Nether Shire Lane.

She said: "Unless something changes then someone will take action into their own hands and there will be a really big incident and someone will get seriously hurt. There's only so much people can take."

More than 200 comments have been posted on Facebook by other residents highlighting the same anti-behaviour issues.

Shakeela Foster said: "I see it daily, kids - some look no older than about 10 - throwing stuff at the windows of buses for fun, kicking their football at parked cars. Disgusting, parents need to control their kids."

Jameela Foster explained how three buses had their windows smashed earlier this week and added: "It's been going on months. About time something was done."

Melanie Smith posted: "They smashed a taxi driver's windscreen on Southey Green Road yesterday (Monday). Luckily they had no passengers in. And last week my kids and their dad were walking along Wordsworth Avenue and the same kids threw one at a learner driver."

The woman who contacted us explained that she has phoned the police on at least five occasions this year alone. But often faces being put on hold for long periods and by the time officers come out the gang has already fled.

She said: "It is like they don't care, and we're a low priority. A couple of years ago we had similar problems but police introduced a dispersal order - which meant no groups could stand about - and this seemed to work. They should reintroduce this and have more police patrols."

Inspector Richard Burgess said police are aware of the issues and are working to identify the individuals causing problems.

He added: "As part of the action already undertaken to achieve this, officers and local police community support officers have been conducting high visibility patrols to disperse these groups, improve community safety and bring offenders to justice. We are also looking into other action we and our partners can take, to create longer-term solutions to further prevent this behaviour."