Taking steps to deter kids having a sit-down in Rosehill

Your Local Guardian: Stand up: The council is trying to make the steps a no-sitting zone Deadlinepix SU20878 Stand up: The council is trying to make the steps a no-sitting zone Deadlinepix SU20878

An area in Rosehill, known locally as "the steps", is to be re-designed to stop young people sitting there.

Not only will the steps be made longer and more shallow to make them uncomfortable to sit on, but no handrail will be installed just in case teens decide to lean against it.

According to police, there have been just two calls to them this year, compared with 15 in the same period last year.

Explaining the need for the changes, St Helier Councillor David Callaghan said: "At the moment the steps are like ready-made seats so changes will be made to make the area less attractive to young people.

"We held a meeting for ward councillors, residents and police and this was one of the ideas we came up with."

The decision to give "the steps" a facelift was made by the Rosehill area committee after ongoing complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour.

At the moment the steps are like ready-made seats so changes will be made to make the area less attractive to young people."

St Helier Councillor David Callaghan

The £15k scheme will be partly funded by the council committee and partly funded by the Safer Sutton Partnership - made up of police and council members.

Residents will now be written to advise them of the changes. Coun Callahan said that if there was a strong reaction against the proposal, the committee would think again.

One local resident, who asked not to be named, said she was in favour of the move. She said: "For years now young people have gathered there during the holidays.

"The problem is the noise they make as many neighbours have young children. If it was local children we could sort it out between ourselves as we all know each other around here, but it's a problem when it's the older kids coming from further away," she said.

A CCTV camera has already been installed opposite the area but this has not proved enough of a deterrent.

Coun Callahan added that the youth service was working with the young people involved and that they were working on providing lighting at the nearby ball park and shelter so that they felt safe to be there after dark.

A police spokesman said other measures they had taken had already helped to reduce crime in the area.

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