Residents in Shotton suffering as vandals target street

Published date: 05 February 2014 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


A MOTHER has told of her concern after a vandalism rampage spree terrorised her street.

Bricks have been smashed through the windows of 10 cars during the last month in Shotton – a spate of attacks which has sparked North Wales Police to launch a crackdown operation.

Danielle McGarry, of Clarence Street, said a number of her neighbours have had their cars “smashed up” while parked on wasteland near the former Shotton Lane Social Club, which was destroyed by fire three years ago yesterday.

Mrs McGarry, who has three children, said the abandoned land has become a trouble hotspot. It is covered in “bricks, shards of glass and litter” and is attracting vandals to the area.

This weekend police launched Operation Lao to tackle the problem following the recent attacks.

Officers reported a positive start, with no vehicles damaged in Shotton over the weekend.

But Mrs McGarry believes the problem will not go away until the area near the social club is cleared up.

“I'm sick and tired now and I’m concerned about everything,” she told the Leader.

“My neighbours in the street are getting their cars damaged.

“One young couple who have a little girl had their windscreen damaged – it was a right mess.”

Mrs McGarry described hearing an “almighty bang” in the middle of the night and the next day realised it was damage caused to a car.

“It sounded like a bomb going off,” she said. “The next day we noticed our neighbour’s car smashed up.

“A couple of days later another neighbour got his car damaged – there was glass everywhere.

“Why should we have to live by this? It’s a right mess.”

Another Clarence Street resident, who didn’t wish to be named, said her car was targeted.

“It’s really scary, a brick went through my car window,” she said. “Incidents have been going on quite regularly overnight – my neighbour’s car was hit as well and had the number plates taken.

“Nobody parks here anymore. I had to pay out £120 to have my window fixed, it was so annoying.

“I have two children, I have to think about their safety here for the long-term.”

Mrs McGarry said she wants to see someone tidy up the mess on the former social club site – which she believes would act as a deterrent to trouble makers.

“It is giving the whole of Shotton a bad name,” she added.“It looks like a war zone.”

Sgt Sue Richards, of the Deeside Neighbourhood Policing Team, said offenders will be dealt with as part of the force’s crackdown.

She said: “Operation Lao ran over the weekend and will continue to run until we have identified and dealt with offenders.

“We will increase patrols in what we have identified as hotspot areas.”

Shotton Town Council leader, Cllr Dave Evans said the issue has been “a big concern” over the previous two weekends

“I got onto the police about this last week,” he said.

“There has been a lot of damage over the last two weekends.

“I have spoken to one resident and they have told me there has been no damage this weekend because no one wants to park on there.”

He added: “It is a big concern but it is a concern that is confined to a couple of idiots who have decided to put bricks through car windows.

“The club has been empty for a couple of years but it’s only the last couple of weekends it has been an issue.

“I asked the police if they could have more patrols there that would be monitoring the area.

“I have also asked for CCTV on the junction of Shotton Lane and Clearance Street.”

Ahead of the weekend’s Operation Lao launch, Sgt Richards said: “We believe local youths are involved and we want to reassure the public we are taking positive action and doing something about the problem.”

Anyone with any information in relation to any of the incidents is urged to contact Sgt Richards on 01978 348840.

Alternatively people can call North Wales Police on 101 or on Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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