Shoreham youths accused of lockdown chaos such as drink and drug driving and vandalism

Some young people in Shoreham are running wild with drink, drugs and vandalism during lockdown, according to an Adur councillor.

Joss Loader, independent councillor for Marine ward and head of the Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association, said she has received reports of, and witnessed first-hand, under-age drinking and drug use, late night noise and anti-social behaviour.

While she accepted lockdown has been particularly difficult for secondary school pupils at a loose end, she said she was concerned by the rise in crime across the town.

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“I totally understand that life has been difficult for young people and nobody wants to stop them meeting their friends and enjoying the open air, now restrictions are being eased,” said Ms Loader.

DM1980616a.jpg. Fiends of Shoreham Fort exhibition at Shoreham museum. Joss Loader. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190608-170832008

“The majority are well behaved and courteous and it’s great to see them socialising in the sunshine.

“However, I’m really concerned by the level of under-age drinking and drugs use. If you walk out of The Co-op on Shoreham High Street you’re often hit by the stench of weed being smoked on Coronation Green. This is in broad daylight and in plain sight.”

She said beach visitors were leaving litter including laughing gas canisters around open spaces and young people were regularly climbing into cars under the influence of drink and drugs.

The fort was regularly vandalised – a recurring problem for well over a year – and vehicles were driving around the car park at speed, causing disturbances late at night.

Teenagers had also been reported jumping off the Ferry Bridge into the Adur, she added.

Joss encouraged residents to report all non-urgent incidents to police via 101 or online and to call 999 if people under the influence were seen at the wheel of a vehicle.

Last week, 16 people were arrested after a police officer was attacked in the town centre.

Superintendent Miles Ockwell, of Sussex Police, said: “We appreciate the concern this behaviour from a minority group of people is causing within the community and additional resources will be deployed to areas where groups are known to gather to deter such behaviour in the future.

“We have a strong working relationship with local authorities and as a result of this close working, two boys from the local area were issued a Community Behaviour Order by the courts earlier this month.

“Together as partner agencies we can, and we will, use a wide variety of powers, including criminalisation where other options are inappropriate, to tackle those who persistently cause anti-social behaviour and disorder.

“We want people to go out and enjoy themselves in a way that is safe and doesn’t impact others and I would like to commend the young people who have been, and continue to be, behaving themselves during the Covid-19 lockdown.”