Investigation Services North-East
City Council, Community Safety, anti-social behaviour
I was contacted by a chap who was having trouble with gangs of youths who were making his life miserable. They were, on a regular basis, targeting his house with missiles (small stones, eggs, vegetables, etc.). This might seem trivial to some, but this was causing this chap immense distress and leading to serious medical problems for both him and his wife. When he had reached the end of his tether he had tried confronting them, but as soon as he had left the house, they began directing the missiles towards him! This made him even more of a target for the youths and the problems subsequently escalated. This chap felt like a prisoner in his own home and it was causing so much stress and anxiety that my client and his wife were both prescribed anti-depressants - and they were not in the best of health to begin with! He had called the police and the street wardens on numerous occasions, but as soon as the youths saw them coming they would run off, only to return later to continue their malicious torment! The police and local authority cited lack of evidence as an unwillingness to act and suggested that he keep a diary!
The chap called me as a last resort to see if there was anything which I could do.
I parked up some distance away from my client's house and waited for the youths to arrive. I had given my client instructions not to intervene in any way (the safety of my client is always paramount). I monitored the situation and recorded the youths anti-social behaviour.
Having gathered the necessary evidence, I next discovered the address of the ring-leader, who it turned out lived with his parents in a very respectable part of the town.
The next day, when the lad in question was at school, I called at his address to speak to his father. I explained the situation and showed him the video evidence. His father was very shocked to witness his son's victimisation and anti-social behaviour. I informed him that my client didn't want to go to the police, but would if this didn't stop.
The father was very apologetic and gave assurances that this would not happen again. The father asked for my client's address so that he could apologise personally to him. I, of course, checked with my client before giving the father my client's telephone number (though the son knew where my client lived anyway).
I received a telephone call that evening from my client who told me that as soon as the youth had returned from school he was duly frog-marched around to my client's house (probably receiving a severe reprimand first from his father) and they had both apologised unreservedly to my client. The son was especially apologetic and had said that he hadn't realised, at the time, the harm he had been causing to my client: he had done it without thinking to show off to his friends, thinking it was funny at the time. He did promise though that this would never happen again.
The anti-social behaviour towards my client stopped and the two families are now apparently quite good friends.
Some time later I was passing my client's house and called in to see him and his wife.
My client and his wife have stopped taking anti-depressants and their health has dramatically improved. They told me that it was like a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
The cost to my client for his life back?
Would it surprise you to learn that it was less than £200?
It may have been only a few hours 'work' for me, but it meant the world to my client.
, City Council
, Community Safety