Police to throw book at stone yobs
POLICE are targeting vandals who have been seen hurling bricks and stones at passing cars and buses.
Officers say they are responding to information passed to them during neighbourhood patrols in the Fegg Hayes and Great Chell area, particularly around Biddulph Road.
Although police have received no official complaints of windows being smashed, they want to put a stop to the trend before an accident is caused.
Police say they will be stepping up patrols in the area and officers will also use CCTV footage to identify the culprits responsible.
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PC Samantha Bray, neighbourhood officer for Fegg Hayes and Great Chell, said a number of people had made complaints to her.
PC Bray, based at Tunstall Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU), said: "Patrols will be stepped up in this area and we will take action against those responsible.
"I would encourage people to let me, and my colleagues, know of any such incidents.
"Young people have been spotted throwing bricks and stones at passing buses and this is extremely dangerous.
"If vehicle windows are smashed those responsible face being arrested for criminal damage with intent to endanger life, which carries a severe sentence.
"I would also encourage parents to be aware of where their children are, and what they are doing."
Marie Mitchell, chairman of Fegg Hayes Residents' Association, pictured below, said: "It is a well known thing that goes on.
"They stand on Biddulph Road and wait for cars and buses and throw stones at them. In the winter, it is snowballs with stones inside. They also race across the road when cars are coming, or they will jump on a bus and then run off.
"It is all very dangerous and I don't think they realise the severity of what they are doing. It is dangerous to them and the drivers.
"It is very worrying because Biddulph Road is extremely busy.
"If police are stepping up patrols, that is brilliant."
Resident Rita Summerfield, aged 67, of Rivington Crescent, said: "I have heard about youths throwing stones at cars and buses. It is something people are talking about.
"People have said kids are waiting for buses and cars to come past and throwing stones at them.
"I don't think there are enough police in the area and the children today don't seem to have enough respect for the law.
"If I saw anything like that, I would tell the police."
Roy Wilson, of St John's Road, Biddulph, regularly uses the footbridge over Biddulph Road, while walking his dogs He said: "I'm annoyed to find out what has been going on. I will keep an eye out when I walk my dogs."
A spokesman for bus company First said drivers had not reported any significant problems in Fegg Hayes, but that the issue would be raised during meetings with residents' associations.
He added: "Any form of anti-social behaviour in or around our buses is entirely unacceptable and we will work closely with our partners in the police to stamp it out.
"We will do anything we can to tackle any behaviour that might jeopardise the safety of our customers and staff."
Anyone with any information is urged to contact PC Bray at Tunstall police on 0300 123 44 55 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.