Inside ‘no go’ estate where thugs rule and residents are ‘afraid’ to leave homes

Inside ‘no go’ estate where thugs rule and residents are ‘afraid’ to leave homes

Residents have told how they fear to go out and yobs rule the streets of their estate where recently missiles were even thrown at fire crews.

Locals have told how the elderly will hurriedly run across from their homes on Hull’s Gower Road to the shops while others rarely leave their houses as it has become a “no go” area.

The estate has seen a series of violent acts that local community groups say have left residents feeling far from safe, reported HullLive.

In the latest attack, fire crews were forced away on Monday after missiles were launched at them as they responded to a second night of trouble on the streets.

Locals claim the same group of between 15 and 20 youths are causing the majority of the antisocial behaviour and they are angry that they are avoiding punishment.

Recently a bin was set on fire and flames spread across the road
(
Debbie Coldwell/Facebook)

Terry Sullivan of the HU4 Community Group said that the same gangs are operating months after concerns were first reported.

He said elderly residents felt trapped in their homes after dark, afraid to venture out with the rampant antisocial behaviour in the streets.

Terry said: “We’ve been here for two-and-a-half years and it concerns me that things are just getting worse and worse.

“We’ve got people that are afraid to go outside their houses, there are people that run across the road to go to the shops and then back again.

Terry Sullivan said that little has changed despite meetings with the authorities
(
Hull Live)

“Some of the elderly people barely go out now we’re getting closer to winter and it is dark early, we can’t forget about them in all of this with the focus on the young ones.

“It isn’t just them that are afraid though, young people, families, they’re all affected. Everyone is scared that things are coming to a head and someone is going to get hurt.

“I’m worried that someone is going to have to get killed before something gets done about it. They’ve had meetings, there has been a lot of talk and all we seem to have is the idea of spending more money on the park.

“I know it isn’t just an issue for Boothferry but we’ve got real problems here at the moment and we need a coordinated response with people putting aside the party politics.

Remnants of a bin fire on Gower Park also known as Bootherry Playing Fields
(
Hull Live)

“The kids in the gang are from different areas, it will take more than one set of local councillors or one local group to sort it out. We’re going to have to come together to work on this.”

A survey carried out last May and handed to Humberside Police and local MP Emma Hardy showed that over 75 per cent of people felt unsafe.

Images sent to the HU4 community group in that month alone showed a smashed bus stop, a bin fire, a destroyed fence and an open fire next to a resident’s fence all focused in the area around the park.

In June, local Local Lib Dem councillor Mark Ieronimo reportedly confirmed that he and his colleagues were tackling the problem and looking to “take back” the park from the troublemakers.

A fire at a bus stop led to fire crews having to retreat due to missiles thrown at them
(
HU4 Community Group)

But so far despite the efforts of local councillors, MP Emma Hardy and the police, residents have said little has changed and they are being advised to secure their bins throughout October due to a spate of fires.

The trouble is actually spreading around Gower Road, the local park and to nearby streets. It came to a head on Halloween when a large fire spread from a bin and flames blew across the street.

After the incident, Humberside Fire and Rescue reportedly confirmed they were being called to the area on a almost daily basis and were experiencing high levels of abuse directed towards their crews, reported HullLive.

A fire service spokeswoman said: “We’re well aware of these incidents and we have been getting more calls to put out fires in the area recently.

“Fires like the one on Gower Road are quite a common occurrence at the moment, we’ve been called out more than a dozen times to that area in the last couple of weeks.

“The other issue is the antisocial behaviour which tends to accompany them, including both verbal and physical attacks on firefighters.

“It seems these fires are being started to entice the police and firefighters to these areas so they can be abused.”

The fire service warned the incidents are putting strain on their crews at one of the busiest times of year and said the gangs of youths gathering when they responded to fires were putting lives at risk.

But than a week later fire crews had to leave Gower Road with missiles thrown at them and that was followed by another attack on fire fighters in Bransholme on Monday.

Humberside Fire and Rescue tweeted: “This is not acceptable. After a busy week for the Service this is not the behaviour we expect or deserve.”

In a typical example of the problems, one woman moved into a hotel after a gang targeting her home threatened to rape her and her children.

Cllr Mark Ieronimo claims that some “progress” is being made.

He said: “There has been some progress since the last meeting. I was told 80% of those involved are now known to the police and the local authority, and the follow-up action will be decisive now in quashing this behaviour.

“Unsurprisingly, simply locking the park gates, which the council has continually refused to do because of resourcing, has also meant fewer wheelie bin fires have been set alight.

“Clearly, there is still more to do. Residents on the estate are still contacting me with their concerns and worries. They want to be able to get on with their lives and not feel unsafe as they go about their daily lives.

“They don’t need a tiny number of youths from the estate disrespecting the area and thinking they can do as they please without any consequences.

“The local community can play a really important part in helping get a grip on the situation.

“Sharing the names of those involved, getting descriptions, and passing them onto the local police, and just keeping wheelie bins off the street will really help tackle this situation much more swiftly. And I appeal to our residents to do this.

“Planning ahead, there are future engagement activities being set up. The fire service, police and council will hold some events in the area for residents to go along to; and there are some youth engagement activities lined up.

“Cllr Burton and I have secured funding for a Beats Bus project in the area, and there is also some engagement work with Hull FC in the pipeline.

“As I keep repeating, the area needs proper council investment. Our residents deserve better.”

A Humberside Police spokesman said: “We are aware of the recent reports of antisocial behaviour and crime in and around the Boothferry Playing Fields of Gower Road area, in Hull.

“Robust action is taking place within this area and investigations are ongoing to identify those responsible.

“Where a crime or anti-social behaviour is taking place, call us on our non-emergency number 101 or 999 if in an emergency.

“By reporting through official means we can, as well as partners, have a full picture of the issues in the community and take action against those at the core of them.”

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