Anti Social Behaviour... grrrrrr...
Posted by Fed Up
In the last couple of weeks I have been appalled by the increasing amount of anti-social behaviour in Hebden Bridge.
I am frequently being harrassed (during the day!) for money, usually on Crown Street, by a young male, asking for bus fair home, which I flatly refuse him as he clearly has the funds to purchase large bottles of cider which render him barely able to stand, let alone speak coherently. I often fear his reaction as I tell him 'sorry I dont have any money', a clear lie but I refuse to give my hard earned cash to someone who will abuse my generosity.
More and more I feel intimidated by the large groups of youths who have nothing better to do all day but drink and smoke themselves into a stuper, shouting obscenities and effing and blinding about the world (especially the police) to all and sundry. These are the groups who spend their afternoons in the park and their evenings loitering in the town centre. They sit with pregnant girls and children, increasing the chances of copycat next generations; throw litter, abuse passers by and generally express a complete disregard for others and this wonderful place in which we live.
This area is renowned for tourists, costs a fortune to live in, and is regarded as a quaint and funky little town. Unfortunately the reality is becoming quite different - Can we do something????????
We prefer not to receive anonymous messages - webmaster
Posted by Jack Hughes
Maybe a literacy campaign might be in order.... I'm sure that were aforementioned yobs to learn to talk English proper they would no longer feel the need to drink and smoke themselves into a stuper, nor would they hassle people for bus fair.
Posted by Nicola
I have raised this with our local MP as I am more concerned about the state of the park and memorial gardens as a result of groups of youths causing nuisance, litter (including an abundance of broken/discarded bottles) and the fact that obviously local premises are selling alcohol to minors. She has promised to come back to me on what is being done by the council/local police to try and sort this situation out.
Jack - being pedantic about literacy instead of taking the issue on board is not helpful.
Posted by Tim
Hmmm, reminds me of a couple of lines in a Tom Lehrer song -
'Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well
Don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell'
Posted by Jack Hughes
Sorry for being pedantic Nicola, but bad spelling really gets my goat. I suspect from the syntactical signature that Fed Up is actually an HB Times journalist trying to stir things. Is that you, Norman? (Maybe not - not enough surplus apostrophe's...
Posted by Lou
Walking through Calder Holmes on a Saturday/Sunday is difficult to avoid the empty alcohol bottles, broken glass and litter discarded anywhere and everywhere. The skate park is an intimidating place for adults to walk by let alone children to go (ages 12 - 14) and use the facilities. It is littered and dangerous.
The town itself looks dirty and the level of damage increases, e.g. car bonnet stamped on, rubbish bin up rooted from the ground.
Who foots the bill for all the cleaning up operations? Yes, more than likely us council taxpayers. Why should anyone have to be employed to clean it up? Why can't the youths deposit their rubbish in the litterbins provided (oh yes, and without setting them on fire resulting in the fire brigade having to be called out - more expense)? Why are the police not arresting underage drinkers, identifying where the alcohol was purchased and put some responsibility on shopkeepers and parents to police the kids and foot the bill for clean up operations? What about having facilities for youths to keep them out of the parks, drinking to oblivion and causing damage?
Currently where the government have serious concerns about the abuse of alcohol, I am disappointed that nothing seems to be happening in this regard. Having had experience of trying to help an alcoholic for approximately 7 years I am telling you now, there are some major problems on the horizon. There will also be those delving in drugs and at such a young age, it is a sad state.
Come on, everyone can work together on this and that includes the youths, the police, the council, the shopkeepers and the parents. Let us get Hebden back to the nice Pennine town it was once renowned to be.
Anyone any ideas?
Posted by Richard
Thank you to 'FedUp', 'Lou' & 'Nicola' for raising this issue. As a resident in HB for 10 years, I've noticed how the atmosphere in the town (particuarly at night) has changed drastically during the last few years.
Behaviour which once would have seemed uncommon and rare in Hebden Bridge, is now sadly what we have to put up with most weekends, particuarly in the Summer. It appears to be a very small minority of one or two gangs of disrespectful, drunken and barely coherent kids that roam our once friendly streets. Their behaviour is often disgusting and bewildering (saw one of the little loves repeatedly spitting on a dead pigeon the other day - what's that about???)
What can we do as a Community / Town? Well something needs to be done, that's for sure. For a start, certain chain stores in HB can stop openly selling alcohol to clearly under age kids.
With camper vans (x3 in a week) being set light to, the cricket pitch and shed demolished, cars mindlessly damaged, my cat having a air pistol targetted at it; it does make you wonder what their 'minds' are reacting to? Hebden Bridge is hardly The Bronx.
It would be nice to hear from one of their parents who's brave enough to contribute to HebdenWeb and justify the reasons for letting their kids behave like this.
I'm just a poor little liberal minded guy, and I'd love to be put right.
Posted by P Shamir
I also noticed in the last few months some lads with disgraceful behavior.
I am not bothered with young people from the area getting drunk on weekends - my concern is the increase of smackheads dominating the park and the town centre and intimidating passers with their behavior.
My suggestion is that we cooperate and whenever we see someone (especially the shaved head guy with the blue bottle) behave in an Anti Social way we call the police and report it.
I think that the police can ban people from spending their time in certain areas - this should probably be our aim.
P.S. Jack. Sometimes, one just wants to write about important issues. This is coming from the heart and means a lot. Is spell check that important in a discussion forum? I think not.
Posted by Laura
We can be quite cute sometimes!
I have just returned home from my boyfriends residence this morning, sober and hangover free, to find some print outs of the Hebden Bridge discussion forum on the computer table, obviously put there by my mother for her to read and see what's going on in the world. reading the above did bring a smile to my face in more reasons than one. the people putting their views forwards did have some flaws in their very "mr high-and-almighty" talk.
Some reasons this forum made me smile ...
- posted by "FedUp" : "i am frequently being harrased during the day by a young male (blah blah blah)".
This made me smile because the young male you are most likely talking about will be the same one everyone gets harrased by, known throughout my group of associates as a good-for nothing, scary and intimidating type of guy. he will approach asking for bus fare then blatantly walk on the very next person he can get hold of, often in front of your very eyes. some advise - "be done by as you did" how is he meant to learn if you come back with an apologetic, soft and soggy response ? he is nasty to people with no empathy or sympathy for others yet will respond angrily and agressively if provided with an answer he wishes not to hear. ignore these people, they wont be here for much longer if they carry on with their antics anyway.
- posted by "Jack Hughes" : Sorry for being pedantic Nicola, but bad spelling really gets up my goat. I suspect from the syntactical signature that FedUp is actualy an HB times journalist trying to stir things up ... "
For someone who comes across as super-speller of the year, your grammer is something short of a twelve year olds. Hebden Bridge begins with a consonant there for following the rule that "an" comes before words beginning with a vowel. for example, "an egg". Thus "an HB Times journalist" is gramaticaly incorrect why proof reading is more valuable than jazzing up your addition to this forum with long clever words. please dont bother to correct my mistakes, im 15, haven't sat my GCSE's yet and I still have much ahead of me before i end up muttering about things that I don't have the guts to sort out.
This point is for "Lou". We young people have no respect for you because of growing lack of respect for us. you are correct on that the skate park is an intimidating place (if you let it be) last night I sat there watching my boyfriend skate and an elderly gentleman came on rollerblades asking if the tennis courts were open. he looked around 60 and was a kind, open minded type of fellow and I would like to thank him for not acting like the rest of people 30+ who sneer down their tax paying noses thinking they have the worst of the worst. we have it all to come, surely you cant all swear down on your loved ones lives that you were never a teenager, hating everything in heirarchy and being anti-social. it's part of the learning process, we'd appreciate you more if you, as our elders, took on your responsibility in that role, and taught us the ways of the world. some of you can carry this out very well, with abit of patience, and no joke, it will take time if any of you have any hopes of solving your problems.
The litter issue is not just restricted to Hebden Bridge youth culture. Open your eyes people, you'll see what I see. We are young, lazy people and you are elder, pride-taking people. We'll catch you up one day. *wink wink* .
Almost lastly I think, the last article blames the parents. I must say, this is the biggest load of tripe I have ever heard. Do you actually think that for all the 100 or so youths in HB, each parent/carer knows or has any power to act? This is small minded talk.
I am totally appalled that you can hide away behind your computer bickering to each other about things you should be more pro-active about.
In fairness, there are some nasty children in Hebden Bridge, but this is only the minority. Try to be more open minded and not to tar all youths with the same brush. We are only humans, small disgusting creatures who will ultimatly end our world through self destruction.
As for saying you have lived here for 10 years, try growing up here. This is all we know. You chose to come here. If you don't like it go somewhere else - it's a world of opportunity out there with more problems than HB.
Please give me some more feedback so I can laugh at how morbid and small minded you little creatures really have become.
Posted by Andi Butterworth
Sadly the response from the police was useless. Our police station was closed with noone in attendance. When I spotted an officer driving up he stated that Hebden was not his beat. I asked him to do something nonetheless. First he completely walked past the guy in question only approaching him when I'd shouted and directly pointed him out. He then had a brief word, returned to his car and drove off. Lame.
I don't know what the solution is. Challenge the behaviour and hope you don't get smacked in the face. But ignoring it will only add to the problem.
Posted by Nicola
I've delighted to say I've now had a very positive response from Chris McCafferty to concerns I've raised over these issues, in which she enclosed responses from both the local council and the local police and I have to honestly say that this weekend walking through the park there is a marked difference in the litter and 'gangs' situation, whether prompted by our discussion or perhaps just things starting to happen that have been mentioned in the communications I've received. Below is the text from the police, I will try and summarise the response from the council and post separately.
"Thank you for forwarding the E Mail from the above regarding the Youth Nuisance in Calder Holme Park, Hebden Bridge. I would like to address some of the concerns .... I am Police Sergeant 3338 Murgatroyd and am a Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant based at Todmorden and one area I am responsible for is Hebden Bridge.
I am in total agreement with the writer regarding the activities on going in Hebden Bridge especially on a Friday and Saturday night. As the writer states herself there has been an increase in Police presence which we hope to maintainto combat the problems. There is an element of youth that are congregating in the park and they are consuming alcohol which is aggravating the situation ... the alcohol is not intentionally coming from local stores as we have a very effective Pub Watch scheme running of which the local off licences are members. The scheme is designed to stop the sale ofalcohol to underage people and there are also currently some 32 people of age to buy alcohol that are barred from all Pubs and Off licences in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge for drink related public order or violence offences. However we have become aware in the last few weeks that ID cards are being bought off the Internet which show the holder to be 18 or over when they are not. We are looking for holders of such cards with alcohol in their possession and will deal with them accordingly. We believe a lot of the drink they are inpossession of is coming from outside the area There are however a lot of people going into the park to drink who are of 18yrs or over who may also be supplying the youths at a profit. This is another avenue we are looking down ... this is a Neighbourhood Policing Issue (The Community Police Dept ) and we are trying to effectively combat the problem and are confiscating alcohol from people who are clearly under 18 or who are with people under 18. There will in the not too distant future be a drinks ban in certain areas of Hebden Bridge and Todmorden once the problem areas have been identified and sanctioned by the council as Alcohol free zones. The park at Hebden Bridge will be one such area we will be putting forward which will assist no end. We are in contact with Park rangers and the Council and are actively looking for Bye Laws that can assist us at the present time. We are awaiting an update from the Council re this.
I thank her for taking the time to communicate her concerns and assure her we will do everything we can in co operation with the Local Business Forums and Council to give the people of Hebden Bridge back the use of their park in peace and quiet."
Posted by Nicola
Laura - you'll see from my response that I've not hidden behind a computer. I've lived a lot of places and am relatively new to Hebden but enjoy having a park on my doorstep which should be a great open space, not somewhere I'm dodging chip wrappers and broken glass!
I know the problem isn't restricted to Hebden but you're/we're lucky enough to have a community that gives a sh*t and this does mean that some of us are trying to do something about a situation that affects all of us, young and old and that despite your crowing about being wise to the world, it is your responsibility to do something about this situation as much as it is ours.
If you feel intimidated by an individual as much as us you have a right to complain - more to the point - you say you're aware of him, not everyone is resident on a weekend and someone like my own Mum who comes to visit would find someone like him extremely intimadating, whilst I'd be happy to give as good as I got. It doesn't help me feel any better that the park's an absolute state on a weekend and that others who are trying to make open spaces great feel it's a waste of time. I too find nothing worse than people p*ssing and moaning in corners instead of taking action and was happy to write to our local MP about it. I'd suggest anyone serious about the issue does the same, but the forum does give an opportunity to at least make you think you're not going mad and turning into 'grumpy old b*ds' because we're not alone and unfortunately Laura, until you realise that actually it's your peers, not ours with the attitude problem and chip on the shoulder, you can and should make a difference.
Posted by Richard
Encouraging to see our local MP / Police seem to be actively tackling this problem. And Laura, parents do have to take some / a lot of responsibility when incidents are happening at late at night, when your rights and personal safety are a concern. And yet elsewhere in your comments you state that adults must show a good example. A conflict in your opinions there surely? If you seriously think it's a 'load of old tripe' then fair enough, but that's a rather sad mindset.
Neither is there any suggestion that it is anything other than a very tiny minority of dis-respectful kids. A rather more purposeful response would have been encouraging. Please contribute more, as I couldn't really unravel the point you were trying to make. Hope to see your name again on the discussion forum. We need your voice.
Posted by Jack Hughes
Grammer.... oh dear. Sorry Laura, but the phrase "an HB Times journalist" is grammatically correct (I can't be bothered to explain why - ask a teacher, or an HB Times journalist, but it's to do with vowel sounds.) I'm a proofreader, I should (and do) know these things. Congratulations - seven typos in one paragraph.
My point? Simply that an hypothesis (...) or polemical argument carries more weight, at least as far as I am concerned, if it is expressed correctly, coherently and clearly. Especially on a thread which seems to be condemning idiocy, mindlessness and stupidity. I do not equate these qualities with lack of education - far from it - but it helps if one can put one's arguments in a convincing way. Youth is no excuse.
Good luck in your exam's (goad, goad).
Posted by Paulo
I've lived in Hebden Bridge for 25 years.
Let me just state this one fact..........
The world is a very big and scary place.
Hebden Bridge is not.
If you look at the big picture. We actually have good lives and complaining isn't very constructive.
At least we have the right to our own opinion, but there are a lot more other issues in the world. If you actually put you energy in to trying to help people in other places, rather than slagging youths. You might actually be able achieve something.
Why don't you sit back, and be happy to live in such a great place, like Hebden bridge, and see thing's in a positive way. It's not that bad really.
You are all so lucky. You don't even realise it.
Posted by Andrew Hall
Paulo seems to think that helping the more disadvantaged parts of the world, and trying to improve Hebden Bridge at the same time are somehow mutually exclusive goals (i.e. if you do one, you can't do the other).
I respectfully suggest to him that Hebden Bridge is probably one of the more globally aware parts of the country. You only need look at the anti Iraq war vigils which took place in the town centre. The town has witnessed a great deal of activism in the name of third world poverty, ecological issues, employee rights, and so so much more.
I totally agree that the problems Hebden Bridge faces pale into insignificance compared to the problems that many other global communities face. But is that really a good excuse for the drunkenness, aggressive behaviour, graffiti, litter, intimidation that you can witness every day in the town centre or on Calder Holmes Park? I think not.
Yes, in global terms we certainly are lucky to live in Hebden Bridge. But, as above, and at the risk of repetition, is that really a good excuse for the drunkenness, aggressive behaviour, graffiti, litter, intimidation that you can witness every day in the town centre or on Calder Holmes Park? Do we have to put up with such behaviour just because there are other people in the world who are worse off?
I'm sure there are many people in Hebden Bridge who contribute towards global causes. But that doesn't mean to say they don't want to put their own house in order.
Oh and yes, many of us do sit back, and are very happy that we live in such a nice place. But why should we be criticised for wanting to make it even better?
Posted by Richard
Thanks Andrew for a far more constructive reply to Paulo than I was initially considering for submission. Thankfully we do live in a nice, largely friendly and relaxed town and amongst some wonderful countryside. It's largely thanks to good, imaginative, considerate, friendly people that Hebden has evolved in the way it has, and it's also the reason why you and I love the place so much. Sorry Paulo, agree with most of what you say, but complete apathy isn't the way ahead. We've got two choices; to try make the world & the community in which we live a little bit better, or, do nothing. In which self help book is the 'Power of Apathy' promoted? And yes, I'm concerned for the wider world; I've set up a charity and put on benefits for victims of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada etc. but I'd also quite like to continue enjoying living in HB. You're completely right though about 'slagging off youths', there's a lot of older people spending their lives in the park getting wasted. Cheap bad cider has a lot to answer for.
(p.s. Look forward to that old rascal Jack Hughes correcting your grammar / punctuation). And possibly mine.
Posted by Nicola
I'd offered to post the Council's response which is summarised below:
Re Underage drinking in the park and vandelism: "We are trying to address this issue generally ... through the Safer Communities partnership. Trading standard work closely and undertake action against retailers who sell to underage children. Members of the public can ring Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 and give details of the retailer involved. Test purchasing visits will then be undertaken to ascertain the extent of the reported issues ... I am sure you will encourage any constituents identifying similar issues to report such problems to Consumer Direct.
The second issue concerns the amount of litter and broken glass, particularly at weekends. My colleague, Martyn Summerscales, is now working very closely with Hebdden Royd Town council to see how we can improve the general standard of both Calder Holmes park and the memorial gardens. We have started to experiment with community clean-ups within the Borough and I will ask colleagues to consider whether this will be helpful with regard to Hebden Bridge."
I raised the issue of community policing commenting that there seems to be a slight increase in police presence, but suggested community policing should be in place, getting to know the regular offenders and then being in a position to do something about it. The council commented "The new Neighbourhood Policing Team meetings are underway and local officers have organised several operations to address issues in the park over recent weekends."
I have to say that I walked through the park this weekend, with my Mum and was delighted to see a huge improvement in the litter situation, with someone actively cleaning up at 2pm Sunday! However, less delighted to then witness a young guy peeing in the shrubbery, blind drunk half an hour later ... you can't change things overnight but I'm still very pleased to have felt this discussion appears to have made a big difference.
Posted by Jack Hughes
Don't think that I'm in any way excusing public urination in the park, but might I suggest that the recent imposition of charges at the New Road toilets might be a contributary factor? I know there are (were?) free WC facilities by the bowling green, though they're hardly well advertised.
Posted by John Morrison
Yes, there is no reason whatsoever why anyone should urinate in the park... not while there's a phone-box by the traffic lights that could have been built for the purpose.
Oh, and Jack: proofreading is to writing what prompting is to acting. Writers sell their ideas and insights; proofreaders dot the ayes and cross the teas... they're technicians. One good idea is worth a lifetime of pedantry.
Posted by Tim
Now now, boys, can we please return to the topic? Jack, you are a grotesque pedant, but I suppose that's probably an advantage for a proofreader. And Mr Morrison; your 'ideas and insights' seem mainly to involve satirising the archetypes and stereotypes of HB with an offcumden's jaundiced eye....shooting fish in a barrel, methinks.
Posted by Cleo
Firstly, I must object to the point some-one has made about over 18s being with underage kids. If we were with some over 18s then we would not be allowed by the police to stay with them if they were drinking, or their alcohol be taken off them. Was that the point? I think that is an outrage.
Me and my group of friends are of a very, very mixed age range, and this would be awfully unfair to children who get on, and have made friendships with older kids. We specially sit in circles and groups so we can sit, talk and merely for the fact that its more of a social situation. We clean up the area and leave it very respectful, with the litter gone and no harm done.
Is it so bad to stay outside in the day with friends instead of being inside, its considered better to be outside for children anyway, yet you complain? Don't judge us. We are friendly people and think friendly, nice members of the public are sound. We talk to and meet different people of the public everyday. Generally we meet the police alot. I wonder why this is? As we never get arrested so we must not have been guilty, why do they always target us? Isnt this a fair point? The, dare I say 60ish year old man who rollerblades on the skatepark has respect for us, and we highly respect him for thinking the same of us and knowing better than to be intimidated by kids without giving them half a chance.
Nicola, I think your attitude towards people who can see the different view is wrong. Laura, who is 15 and has not been disrespectful to you or any other people on this site, but has taken her time to express the youth's view is my sister. I am 12 years old but yet socialize with the same groups (older people). Understand that we are nice, friendly and simple people. We do not project anti-social behaviour to members of the public who do not look down on us in a dispicable way.
Richard, I hope your views on kids of my generation is more than I can see right now, It looks light a narrow-minded view from where im standing. You never know I could be standing in the wrong place! Reading the other arguements does make me feel like the respect for us isn't there whilst we do have the respect for even-headed adults. I can't see why children with less knowledge are looked down on as we feel you do to us without thinking twice and listening to some of a different side of the story altogether. Thanks Paulo. We do not slag off adults without another thought first. I respect the way you think of the youths in the area.
The guy who picks up the litter in the park is a nice guy, you're right. That's one more person we respect. We occasionally talk to him and say hello, and he appears not to have a problem with us as many other adults do. We do not get sh*t off him, thanks, at least one person has some decency. The toilet issue is a point, I mean, no-one wants to pay for the use of a toilet. The bowling green toilets are useful, though I admit the condition is nothing to be proud of. As toilet paper is replaced by some sort of tracing paper.
I just want adults to think twice before speaking. You are obviously seeing the wrong side of some great people.
Posted by Steve
Cleo, I think the point being made is that "respect" is something that is earned and not given as a matter of course. . Too many young people feel that they should be given "respect" simply because they exist in this world - this is not the case.
Judging by the tone of your sisters post this is something that she has not yet grasped! You and your sister are, (like it or not,)still children and it is the "people 30+ who sneer down their tax paying noses" who currently provide you with the lifestyle you enjoy so much. Earn the respect you crave and perhaps your generation may be viewed in a different light
Posted by Cleo
Posted by Nicola
Cleo - you just don't get it do you - I've tried to keep this about doing something positive. As this is now turning into a personal slanging match I will bow out of this discussion - Shame really. I'm glad that some good has come of it, despite accusations, it would seem this is now officially on the community's agenda.
Posted by Richard
Hi Cleo - please, please, please read my contributions properly, and you'll see that You and I are pretty much on the same side! Judging from your comments on remarks that I'm supposed to have made, I think you must be getting my contributions mixed up with some one elses'. I view 99.9% of the people I know and meet (young and old) as extremely nice people, and tend to see the good in people, to the extent that even our 'enemies' are actually very kind, as they help us to learn the most. I. and several others, have always stated that it's only a very tiny minority of people acting out of order now and again, (would you disagree with this?) and who do decent people like yourself, an injustice. Nor have I ever slagged You off, or to the best of my knowledge, any one else for that matter! If you knew me, or asked my friends, I think you'd find that your personal grudge is a bit laughable - read any book by the Dalai Lama (cool groovy dude if there ever was one!) and he's the example I try to live by. Anyway Cleo, all the best wishes to you. Let's stop this slagging off on both sides of the fence - it doesn't really do anything positive for anyone's cause.
Posted by Rachel
I think it could be deemed that Hebden Bridge (as a town/community) has an anti-social attitude towards the teenagers that have been born and raised in Hebden Bridge.
Kids in HB have not changed they are behaving in exactly the same manner as they did 20 years ago, however Hebden Bridge has changed. I am guessing that the intolerant people who have posted their comments on this site are southerners who have moved to Hebden after making a killing on the southern housing market, subsequently invading our once humble friendly town and escalating house prices way out of the realms of its inhabitants.
The 30+'s of this town have a multitude of social choices, wine bars, restaurants etc.. What do the teenagers have..? A skate park!! and you are begrudging the tax payers money being spent on that!
I would just like to remind everyone of who protested the loudest re: War on Iraq.. that's right the pupils at Calder High School and you say they have no respect or empathy for others.. The difference is the youth of Hebden have a global empathy not just an individualistic selfish attitude. Hebden Bridge is not a show town for tourists and its wealthy new inhabitants, everyone has to live alongside one another and should be more tolerant.
I think the fact that the HB's teenagers are going to struggle to even get onto the housing market in HB is a far greater issue than teenagers drinking on the park.
Posted by Nicola
Rachel - I can only speak for myself - but your 'assumption' that we're all intolerant southerners shows your intolerance for anyone outside of HB. I'm not a southerner, a lifelong northerner and proud of it thanks. Just because this discussion has centred around our views of the local community (it being a local community discussion forum after all) simply means that we don't choose to use this to discuss every other aspect of our political agendas. You have no idea what anyone's politics are on this forum so don't do exactly what we're being accused of and judge us. I will repeat once again, that this is about trying to make it a nice place to hang out. That includes the youth of HB who I'm sure would rather hang out in a nice, clean, litter free park as much as the rest of us, particularly since, as you point out - it's the main place you have. Drinking and littering should not be a part of that. Respect you're own environment.
Posted by Andy
Rachel said she 'the youth of Hebden have a global empathy not just an individualistic selfish attitude'.
Are we living in the same world? I'm from Lancashire originally, lived in London a while and now find myself in Hebden Bridge. I have never heard so much talk of the crack cocaine and heroin 'problem' in the city as I have since moving here among the villagers who speak of roving bands of high and aggressive schoolchildren. I myself have often seen gangs of delinquent and aggressive kids - none older than sixteen - hanging round drug dealers passing round their toxic candies in full view of everyone in the centre of town on any given early evening.
They step out into the road, bang car bonnets, make nasty quips to drivers, wave cans of alcohol around and terrorise the elderly. Later at night, we can see the courtship rituals of the under-sixteens around many a park or street bench as the next generation is conceived under less than lugubrious circumstances.
It doesn't matter what your views are. You just need to open your eyes and see.
Not everyone should ever be tarred with a collective brush ever, whatever their age. But the suggestion that the youth of Hebden Bridge have 'global empathy' is frankly laughable in my experience. If you don't acknowledge the problem - which is compounded by the near-complete absence of police - then you're simply wilfully blind and the shock of what's happening will hit you all the harder sooner or later.
Posted by Cleo
Andy - As Rachel said the youth of Hebden Bridge do have global empathy and you are saying that it is simply laughable. That is awful. I suspect you do not have children or hear the youth's point of view often. There is an amazing amount of global empathy in the youth community and you should think twice about what you say.
There are no-way near as many smack-heads as in London. I think you have the wrong end of the stick. It sounds as though you are exaggerating the truth slightly when you say 'drug dealers passing round their toxic candies in full-view of everyone in the centre of town' as I, and many others may agree have never seen people drug dealing on the streets in the centre of Hebden Bridge!
I can see quite clearly where you adults are coming from. You see the groups, vandalism, some very inconsiderate youths being a nuisance and threat to the general public and now the youths are ill-mannered, junkie, vandals! I sit in groups, I take my litter away with me, I never vandalise purposely to someone's inconvenience and I respect the public. Some of us do try to manage with what little choices we have in Hebden, and that is a big majority of us.
Posted by Andrew Hall
At the risk of alienating (but hopefully uniting) both sides in this discussion, don't you think we are running the risk of speaking too generally?
Nothing constructive comes of the argument that the youth of Hebden Bridge are just a load of deadheads, and that older people are just a grumpy lot of old gits who don't appreciate the problem and condemn everyone else out of hand. Nor is it useful to claim that all young people are globally aware and sensitive to their environment.
Firstly, what is meant by "young"‚ and "old"‚? Where do you draw the line? I know a few 80 year olds who have less maturity than some 17 year olds. It‚s a meaningless distinction.
In an argument like this, people, naturally, speak from their own viewpoint, based on their own experiences. Their opinions must be subjective. In a sense this makes everyone right and wrong.
Where is this leading? Where am I rambling away to? Quite simply, I suggest that there is a very small minority of people (not necessarily youths‚) who cause a disproportionate amount of unrest/vandalism etc in Hebden Bridge town centre. Likewise there is a small minority of people (not necessarily adults‚) who are too ready to point the finger of guilt in an indiscriminate way.
I don't think anyone would deny that Hebden Bridge has a problem. Whether it is greater or worse than anywhere else is debateable. But that‚s not the point. The point is that we all should have the right to a clean, safe, decent environment. And it's up to all of us, particularly those who actually know - or are in a position to influence - the miscreants, to do something about it.
But of course that's only my opinion!
Posted by Chris
Please stop this whining about anti social behaviour, the youths of Hebden Bridge are generally a lot nicer than a lot of places and aren't out to hurt anyone... just having fun.
Posted by Oscar
" . . .a lot nicer than a lot of places . . ." - having lived in the United States, the Middle East and various inner cities, I can assure you there is an anti-social behavioural issue in Hebden; although admittedly not totally attributed to youths.
Your statement is very generalised and, I hope, doesn't include the youths that I've witnessed damaging vehicles, daubing graffiti, loitering, littering, intimidating and harassing the public, vandalising property, drug dealing, drug taking, thieving, fighting, being drunk and disorderly etc
If they're not out to hurt anyone, then they don't realise the consequences of their actions. They're oblivious to the damage and pain it causes to their victims, the public and our community.
And you say this is just having fun.
Posted by Mick
It dosn't matter which part of the country you're in be it Hebden Bridge, London or anywhere alse for that matter groups of young people will always gather together.
What do we expect them to do? You can disperse and move them on but they'll just gather somewhere else and continue to be a nuisance to somebody.
There's no point in getting into an argument with them as you'll always lose and be seen as some kind of authority figure. You can provide things like youth clubs etc but the only way you can found out what they want is by talking with them.
Things like drinking in the park can and should be stopped. It's not difficult, all that needs to happen is for the council to introduce a byelaw creating 'Alcohol Free Zones'. This makes it illegal to drink in those areas and gives the Police the power to confiscate the alcohol and arrest offenders if they refuse.
It's tried and tested and it works.
There is also a need for high visiblity Police FOOT patrols and also Police Community Support Officers to act as a deterrent. They will also get to know the persistent offenders and can help with Anti Social Behaviour Orders if required. This can be used for the guy constantly asking for money for instance.
The young people will always be around and I don't mind that. I've always found if you talk to them rather than at them you usually get a better response.
Posted by Nathan
The vulgarity of youth and opposing elders
Youths need rebellion. It must be a part of nature. People no longer enjoying rowdy behaviour must complain. This is how it is. Without the intimidating side of HB life, how would we fully enjoy the days when we don't get any hassle which is most?
To enjoy your surrounding area surely you must experience the dark and seedy side to strike comparison . . . youths on the street. Musn't this have to take place so they can be chisseled into their future selves?
Many are polite and good and go on to good things. Many are rude, ignorant and aggresive to anyone not as intoxicated as them, or looking at them funny. What police would there be if there was no bad behaviour. How many jobs would be lost by cleaners, police maybe even prison staff if we did not create horrible people as well as nice ones?
Now...if they'd grown up in somewhere like Gipton or Manningham then you could make an argument (a stupid and misguided one, but nevertheless an argument) that they are products of their surroundings and deserve a bit of understanding.