Investigation after gang pushes trolley off of multi-storey car park

L13-837 Leighton Buzzard scene setters in town, 
Amanda Devlin
JR 29
10.7.13 ENGPNL00120131207131433
L13-837 Leighton Buzzard scene setters in town, Amanda Devlin JR 29 10.7.13 ENGPNL00120131207131433

A potential tragedy was avoided on Thursday when a gang of teenage boys pushed a supermarket trolley off the multi-storey car park in Leighton Buzzard.

The group is also suspected to be behind a number of anti-social pranks in Leighton Buzzard over the Christmas period.

Cllr Clive Palmer told the LBO that he had contacted Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Sentinel – the team responsible for handling anti-social behaviour complaints – after confronting the youths causing a nuisance on Old Road.

He said: “I saw three or four boys and I would put them at around 13 years old.

“I have advised people that if they come across anti-social behaviour to report it immediately.”

A number of people posted online that the group had been on their bikes in the town centre and were quickly pulling out in front of cars, causing them to hit the brakes.

One woman stated: “My husband nearly hit one of them half an hour ago on Bridge Street.

“About six boys on bikes are waiting for motorists to drive up Bridge Street then cycle out at speed in front of the driver. My husband braked just in time and nearly hit one of the boys. The boy and friends then circled the car, bashed it with their fists and hurled abuse at my husband.

Another online poster added: “They’ve just been in town deliberately getting in the way of people in the high street.... I saw a near miss with a pensioner.

These posts were backed up by Cllr Karen Cousins who added that she also had a near- miss with teen cyclists in the town centre.

She posted: “I was in the car with my daughter also a town councillor like me. I had two of them doing wheelies in front of my car and at one stage I thought there is going to be an accident. Thankfully the other drivers saw what was going on.”

Things came to a head as a supermarket trolley was pushed from the West Street car park short after midday on Thursday.

A woman stated: “I was returning to my car on the green level of the multi-storey car park in Leighton Buzzard when I saw 2 boys throw a shopping trolley over the side. They immediately rode off on bikes with another three boys.”

She added: “It seems these gangs of boys on bikes that are riding around Leighton Buzzard are immune to the law and have no concern for their actions.”

The incidents are currently being investigated by Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Sentinel. Sgt Louise Bates told the LBO: “The force received reports of anti-social behaviour by a group of youths in Leighton Buzzard on Thursday, including that a shopping trolley had been pushed from the third storey of a car park. Officers attended and an investigation is ongoing.

“We are aware of ongoing anti-social behaviour issues in Leighton Buzzard, and take all reports of this behaviour seriously. We are working hard to tackle the issues, and continue to act on intelligence from the community to target those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Furthermore the force has recently increased its presence in Leighton Buzzard, launching Operation Sentinel – which is already active in Luton – in the town in October. The team continues to carry out targeted police patrols in the community, addressing the priority issues that matter most to residents including drug dealing, nuisance youths, dangerous motorcyclists, and street drinking.

“Since its launch in Leighton Buzzard, the Operation Sentinel team has made 26 arrests for offences including robbery, burglary, possession of an offensive weapon and perverting the course of justice. The team has stopped 64 vehicles, recovered six uninsured vehicles, two stolen motorbikes, as well as executing a drugs warrant in Houghton Regis which resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs and cash.”

Anyone with information or who has experienced similar problems can email opsentinelcentral@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk or call police on 101.

What do you think? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk