Stones 'thrown off roof' smash taxi windscreen

Smashed rear windscreen of a taxi car in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

"His vehicle is his source of income and now he is unable to work because of this." - Credit: Saniya Chaudhry

Police have once again pledged to crack down on teenagers climbing on roofs in Welwyn Garden City town centre and pelting vehicles with stones.

The latest incident occurred in Fretherne Road at 8.40pm on Wednesday, December 29 when a stone was thrown at the rear windscreen of a parked taxi from the roof of Osborn House.

The taxi driver's daughter Saniya Chaudhry said: "My dad has been affected greatly. His vehicle is his source of income and now he is unable to work because of this.

Inside smashed taxi in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, December 29 2021.

Inside the smashed taxi. - Credit: Saniya Chaudhry

"New Year is a very busy time for him and because of the ongoing Omicron variant, he is not making enough money due to the fall in customers." 

Saniya said vandalism by rooftop trespassers was an ongoing issue in the town, with youths throwing stones, eggs and fruit: "If it’s not damaging cars then someone could be seriously injured," she said.

The police issued a warning in November after businesses and residents complained of the criminal damage being caused by young people climbing on the roofs of buildings.

Teens climbing on the roofs above McDonald's in Welwyn Garden City in 2018.

Teens climbing on the roofs above McDonald's in Welwyn Garden City in 2018, one of many similar incidents in recent years. - Credit: Archant

Over the past few years, incidents were reported in February 2020 and May and August 2018.

The police assured the public that they have put preventative measures in place to tackle the issue, but that didn't stop the most recent perpetrators.

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Saniya believes that the offenders accessed the roof by climbing up the fire exit stairs at the back of the flats, climbing over the railings and walking along the wall to reach the roof. 

Sergeant Emma Francis, from the Welwyn Hatfield North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Over the past year, we have received several reports of young people climbing on roofs in Welwyn Garden City and throwing stones at cars.

"Anti-social behaviour has been and remains a priority for my team and we have been carrying out lots of work to tackle this, including increasing high visibility patrols and regularly meeting with local businesses to identify offenders.

"We’ve also been carrying out work with partnership agencies to gather intelligence and start progressing Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and other warning notices for those responsible."

Enquiries are ongoing and any witnesses or anyone with information of the stone-throwing should call the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 41/102074/21.