‘Youths are making our lives a misery’

Bedford Square, Houghton Regis

Bedford Square, Houghton Regis

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Fed-up residents are demanding urgent action over unruly youths who have made their lives a misery for months.

The people living over shops in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis, say they are forced to put up with vandalism, break ins, late night noise and intimidating behaviour.

Bedford Square residents are demanding action from the council and police. Photo by Joanna Cross Photography

Bedford Square residents are demanding action from the council and police. Photo by Joanna Cross Photography

One resident, who did not want to be named, said the most recent disturbances centred around an unoccupied flat.

The resident said: “The flat gets broken into several times a week. We keep calling the police and they come, but by the time they get here the youths are gone.

“These youths, sometimes as many as 20 of them, are breaking in and having parties with alcohol, and leaving their litter and drug paraphernalia on the door steps of the homes.

“When we have tried to speak to the youths they have thrown insults at us, swearing at us and harassing us. The noise level is ongoing until midnight every night.

“We have spoke to Central Bedfordshire Council on a number of occasions about the anti-social behaviour and they say it is not their responsibility and the police can only deal with the crimes committed.”

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council said they had not received any reports of anti-social behaviour in the area, but said: “We have been advised by the owners of the property that it will be made secure.

“We do have powers to deal with issues like this, including boarding up and making secure empty homes if the owners do not carry out the work themselves.

“We would also work alongside the police to identify anyone involved in antisocial behaviour and take appropriate action.

“However we would need any complainants to contact the council directly with their concerns before we can investigate.”

The resident added: “There is no security after dark and the CCTV cameras are always switched off.

“Many of us come home from work and cannot get to our front doors because of the amount of people in the way of our homes.

“These youths spit on our doorsteps, stand in front of our windows and doors and leave broken glass, beer cans and rubbish in front of our homes and nobody is doing anything about it.”

Bedfordshire Police is encouraging any residents who encounter anti-social behaviour around this property to call 101.

PC Mark Pugh said: “We are aware of some concerns raised about the property during the summer holidays.

“However, we have increased our anti-social behaviour patrols with the town council in that area over the past few weeks and have not come across any further incidents or had any more issues reported to us.

“We have made the landlord of the property aware so the window will be re-boarded to prevent anyone gaining entry.”