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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 06:23 GMT 07:23 UK
Teenage yobs locked out of alleys
Youths have been using the alleyway to break into homes
Teenage vandals and arsonists have been locked out of a road where they were harassing elderly residents.

Four lockable two-metre (6.6ft) high gates have been installed in the alleys surrounding Wrenswood Close in Whitley Wood, Reading, Berkshire.

They have been brought in at a cost of 5,000 after the elderly bungalow-owners became victims of the gangs.

Groups of young hooligans had been using the alleyways to break into people's homes.

Safer Reading Campaign logo
The Safer Reading campaign has helped residents across the town
Inspector Ray Farrow said: "The community has been subjected to repeated acts of arson, vandalism, harassment and general acts of anti-social behaviour.

"In addition, one empty property in the process of being sold was systematically targeted causing a great deal of damage.

"We hope the new gating will help prevent any reoccurrence of these anti-social activities and assist us in policing the area."

Police and councillors were told of the plight of the residents at various public meetings held across the area.

Councillor Christine Grieve, who heads the Safer Reading campaign, said: "Residents of Wrenswood Close are sending a clear message that they will not tolerate vandalism or anti-social behaviour.

"All residents want is a life free of fear from anti-social behaviour and crime."

The Safer Reading campaign has already seen steel gates used to shut off alleyways at the back of houses in the Oxford Road area and fences put up in the Amersham Road estate in Caversham.

Young yobs fenced out of estate
01 Apr 04  |  Berkshire
Alleyways closed to cut crime
12 Jan 04  |  Berkshire

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