Resident in road of fear

PUBLISHED: 17:39 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:13 26 October 2009

FEARFUL residents held crisis meetings after a string of drug raids, break-ins and an alleged gang rape at nearby student digs. Families living on the nightmare road insist that they are on the verge of becoming vigilantes in the face

FEARFUL residents held crisis meetings after a string of drug raids, break-ins and an alleged gang rape at nearby student digs.

Families living on the nightmare road insist that they are on the verge of becoming "vigilantes" in the face escalating trouble.

The fraught neighbours in Bradshaws, Hatfield fear tension between themselves and the students will lead to a major ruction.

Exhausted resident Steve Banfield said that constant police activity at many of the student houses has caused fearful neighbours to "barricade themselves in their houses".

The 50-year-old dad-of-two said: "We're not far off turning into vigilantes.

"A few of us have discussed going round there mob handed to sort it out because the police are doing very little.

"It's a family street with children and because of the students people are leaving in their droves.

"I've been out there at two in the morning to confront them and all I get are threats and abuse."

Neighbour Ruth Letton has also got to the "end of her tether" with the student's behaviour.

She said: "I find it intimidating and as small incidents have grown bigger I dread to think what is going to happen."

Like Mrs Letton, an unnamed pensioner and neighbour expressed concerns about leaving his house at night.

He said "It's not nice to feel like a prisoner in my own home but it's just not sensible to leave my house when it's dark with all that's going on at these houses."

Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Hart said: "We are aware of issues in the area and continue to liaise with residents and other agencies.

"We would always stress that members of the public do not attempt to take matters into their own hands and report any concerns to police.

"It was the case that incidents of burglary had increased in the Hatfield area generally but increased patrols and other measures were quickly put in place and the numbers have since come down.


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