Youths and residents set for peace talks

Bucks Free Press: The Marlow Free Press front page in November after a fiery public meeting, during which residents laid bare the hell that so called yobs have caused them The Marlow Free Press front page in November after a fiery public meeting, during which residents laid bare the hell that so called yobs have caused them

YOUTHS will come face to face with residents who have accused them of making their lives hell at a meeting on Thursday designed to make peace.

More than 500 invitations have been hand delivered to households around the Gunthorpe estate, Marlow, where police were operating a 'dispersal zone' last year.

Since it ended, mediator Dr David O'Halloran has been working with residents and youngsters in a fresh approach to find a resolution to the troubles.

See background stories here.

The extent of the problems were laid bare at a public meeting, attended by police, councillors in November, where angry and upset residents spoke passionately about the anti-social behaviour that has blighted their lives.

Dr O'Halloran has been encouraged by the reaction he has had - both from youths and residents and expects a good turnout at the meeting. Reports to police have dropped in recent times.

He said: "I'm expecting some pretty volatile language but I still think this is the best way to go and it goes some way to bringing closure."

He said it was about giving the youths, in particular, a different perspective to make them realise what effect their behaviour has had on residents - but also for youngsters to give their accusers their own point of view.

He said: "Here is a community at war but if the warring factions can come to a meaningful understanding then people can live in harmony, knowing their property is protected and their kids can grow up in a safe environment.

"It will be clear that no one can make accusations towards individuals but they will be encouraged to say how they've felt and how it's affected them."

Dr O'Halloran, an unpaid volunteer from Mediation Bucks, visited 34 houses randomly chosen around the Gunthorpe estate. He said 22 felt the problems had lessened since his work began, with eight feeling there was no difference and two thinking it was worse.

He has put forward a raft of measures in a report written for council and police bosses including CCTV and creating more opportunities and activities to get the youths off the street.

Comments (4)

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7:36pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Marlow77 says...

So the actual perpetrators will be at this meeting? Not just the poor kids that get caught up in it and get stopped just walking to the shops? I struggle to believe that the boys that have caused the trouble will turn up, and if they do I hope their parents will be there too? This will be very interesting to see... Lucky a few of them came off curfew lately or they wouldn't have been able to make it!! PLEASE make sure the problems that move to Bourne End are there or the whole thing is pointless as they say jump and their little crew ask how high!! If you can make this work then you deserve a medal cause not one of the main offenders is likely to turn up!
So the actual perpetrators will be at this meeting? Not just the poor kids that get caught up in it and get stopped just walking to the shops? I struggle to believe that the boys that have caused the trouble will turn up, and if they do I hope their parents will be there too? This will be very interesting to see... Lucky a few of them came off curfew lately or they wouldn't have been able to make it!! PLEASE make sure the problems that move to Bourne End are there or the whole thing is pointless as they say jump and their little crew ask how high!! If you can make this work then you deserve a medal cause not one of the main offenders is likely to turn up! Marlow77
  • Score: 1

7:36pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Marlow77 says...

So the actual perpetrators will be at this meeting? Not just the poor kids that get caught up in it and get stopped just walking to the shops? I struggle to believe that the boys that have caused the trouble will turn up, and if they do I hope their parents will be there too? This will be very interesting to see... Lucky a few of them came off curfew lately or they wouldn't have been able to make it!! PLEASE make sure the problems that move to Bourne End are there or the whole thing is pointless as they say jump and their little crew ask how high!! If you can make this work then you deserve a medal cause not one of the main offenders is likely to turn up!
So the actual perpetrators will be at this meeting? Not just the poor kids that get caught up in it and get stopped just walking to the shops? I struggle to believe that the boys that have caused the trouble will turn up, and if they do I hope their parents will be there too? This will be very interesting to see... Lucky a few of them came off curfew lately or they wouldn't have been able to make it!! PLEASE make sure the problems that move to Bourne End are there or the whole thing is pointless as they say jump and their little crew ask how high!! If you can make this work then you deserve a medal cause not one of the main offenders is likely to turn up! Marlow77
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Stand up for England says...

this is a good attempt but unless you find the ring leaders, no chance. Name and shame !! ... and then let summary justice prevail. It's all they understand. A sad reflection on society and a generation ...
this is a good attempt but unless you find the ring leaders, no chance. Name and shame !! ... and then let summary justice prevail. It's all they understand. A sad reflection on society and a generation ... Stand up for England
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Mon 25 Feb 13

marlow99 says...

If this comes off I will be amazed! But if it does come off and works..... then everyone will be a winner. Its the best initiative so far and if it means there is an alternative distraction for the kids to keep them away from the bad influences and we can enjoy our homes more then I am for it.
If this comes off I will be amazed! But if it does come off and works..... then everyone will be a winner. Its the best initiative so far and if it means there is an alternative distraction for the kids to keep them away from the bad influences and we can enjoy our homes more then I am for it. marlow99
  • Score: 1

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