Call for more facilities for teens to deal with alcohol fuelled yobs in Doncaster villages

More facilities for youngsters is a key to dealing with antisocial behaviour near Doncaster airport, it is claimed.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12 July, 2019, 16:29

A meeting in Auckley this week to launch a Community Alcohol Partnership raised concerns over the lack of facilities for teenagers, and called for more activities to be made available.

The partnership, to reduce nuisance drinking, was introduced after concerns were raised with police about levels of nuisance behaviour in the villages, with a questionnaire revealing around 67 per cent of those responded had concerns about alcohol related litter, young people under 18 drinking in public, and young people hanging around shops and asking people to buy drink for them.

Figures also suggested 27 per cent of local 14-15 year olds drank some alcohol every week.

Local teenagers Alexia Lovell and Alannah White attended the meeting – and said more facilities were needed.

Alexia, aged 18, from Auckley, said: “We are seen as a reasonable affluent area, but that does not mean we don’t need support. We might even need more because are parents are at work. We think boys and under 16s are the ones to target because the pressure they are under to act cool.

“There are a lot of brand new housing estates round here, which a lot of people want to move to because the local schools are perceived as being very good, so there should be more youth activities here. Youth clubs have been closed down. They need a safe place to go without drink or drugs.

“I used to just go to the park, but residents complained about people playing football there to loudly.”

She and Alannah called for a drop-in centre or a skate park to be built. Both are now 'youth advisors’ to Doncaster Council.

Alan Simpson, the area co-ordinator for the CAP, said the partnership would cover Auckley, Blaxton, Branton and Finningley, and an action plan had now been drafted up after meetings with the local communities. Another meeting to take it forward will be held on July 25.

The plan is to make it more difficult for youngsters to get hold of booze, and to ‘engage and educate’ them, with enforcement action if problems persist.

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The plan will look to work with retailers to help them make it more difficult for youths to buy drink under age, and work with youngsters.

Mr Simpson said: “We are not saying that Auckley and Finningley are hotspots for underage drinking and antisocial behaviour – they are not. But they are showing a willingness to deal with it and support people in their area. Issues have been identified and partners want to do something about it.

“A youth shelter and a skatepark have been suggested, as well as providing somewhere with wi-fi, and we will look what funding is available.”

He added bosses at nearby Doncaster Sheffield airport and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park had expressed support and would work with the partnership.

Finningley ward councillor Steve Cox said he received complaints about nuisance youth behaviour in the area.

“We have been hearing about local youths causing trouble,” he said. “I think some of it is just about perception – there are just a few who like to cause trouble. I had one person telling me about youths sitting on their car and trying to be intimidating.

“But if a bus stop gets damaged all the youths get tarred with the same brush, not just the one who did it. There are good kids round here.”

He added plans were already in place for a multi-use games area on Hayfield Lane, but agreed more facilities were needed for young people.