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Youths forced to write apology note to elderly Formby couple

A Formby couple have received a written apology from youths who were involved in antisocial and intimidating behaviour around their home.

Formby police officers took the young people home following the incident and informed the children's parents what had happened. The youths were urged to write letters of apology which were hand delivered along with flowers to the couple. Formby officers told a public meeting at Formby pool last week (Monday) that the elderly couple were "delighted" with the outcome.

Around 50 residents attended the meeting, organised by Labour councillor Nina Killen, to talk to police and council officers about dealing with antisocial and criminal behaviour around Duke St park.

Residents told harrowing stories of being threatened by gangs of young people outside their own front doors, bricks being thrown through windows, fireworks thrown at cars and houses, eggs being thrown at cars, wing mirrors being broken and bins being set on fire.

A worker from a local off licence described youths intimidating and threatening her and stealing from the shop. She said it had led to her having to close the shop early some evenings for her own safety.

Residents were able to make comments and ask questions of the two police officers, along with Cllr Killen, Sefton Council's anti-social behaviour officer Simon Evans, the council's Neighbourhoods Officer for Formby Sue Ashe, Park Ranger Wilhelm Snelnik and Green Sefton's John Dempsey.

The police welcomed the opportunity to engage with the public face to face, and have asked for another public meeting to be held in three months' time.

The police were represented at the meeting by the Formby neighbourhood PC and the sergeant who is in charge of the area.

The police officers apologised to residents that they were unable to always deal effectively with antisocial and criminal behaviour due to a lack of resources. The police said that if a report comes in and the criminal activity has ceased, they may not respond immediately due to the low likelihood of catching the culprits. But the police urged residents to report every incident no matter how small so that the events can be logged.

Cllr Killen said: "There has to be a wide-ranging response to these issues. We know that services have been cut back and there is less for young people to do, and that they get moved on wherever they go. We want young people to be an active part of the community and not feel like they are being criticised all the time. But we also obviously expect that they don't engage in intimidating or criminal behaviour. That's not acceptable.

"We are trying to explore what resources the council has to provide mobile youth services, and some local sports clubs have already been in touch with me to say they would really like to get involved in providing activities for young people. "The solution probably lies very much with restorative solutions, such as that described by the police officers at the meeting - where victims and perpetrators are brought together so that the impact of the behaviour can be fully recognised.

"Thank you to the police and the council officers for coming to the meeting. "I will be writing to all residents who live around the park asking that they report all relevant incidents, because if the police and council can't build up a picture of exactly what is happening, it is difficult to bring forward workable solutions."

Incidents can be reported to 101, 999 (in an emergency), online at

-- or on Twitter by DM to @MerPolCC

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