Windscreens still being smashed despite police crackdown on incidents

PUBLISHED: 09:52 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 27 February 2020

Photo: Danny Loo/Archant.

Photo: Danny Loo/Archant.

Archant

Stones, ball-bearings and catapults are still being used to attack cars - despite police saying there has been a “dramatic” drop in damage done to windscreens since a crackdown by the force.

As reported by this newspaper, a teenager was questioned after 20 alleged incidents along the A120 and B183 Stansted Road since September last year.

But the vandalism has not stopped altogether. Since questioning the 14-year-old boy on February 5, five incidents have been recorded this month according to neighbourhood watch data.

In one incident, a vehicle was hit with ball bearings believed to have been fired from a catapult, on the A120, Stansted, on February 12,

The next day, a hand-sized stone was thrown at a car in the Birchanger area, causing damage to the windscreen.

The latest offence in the series was on February 18 on Stansted Road, Bishop's Stortford when a "large object" caused a "big hole" in a BMW windscreen.

Colin Cox, Braintree and Uttlesford Community Policing Team inspector, said: ""I'm glad to say that recently, we have seen a dramatic decline in the number of incidents reported and we want this to continue.

"There have been additional patrols carried out by uniformed and plain clothed officers in the area and we've utilised technology such as drones, high vision scope equipment and thermal image cameras, to spot anyone who might be throwing objects.

"We have also visited local schools to speak to pupils about the dangers of throwing objects, like stones, or firing pellets at cars, demonstrating what the consequences of these action could be.

"A boy from Bishop's Stortford has been helping us with our enquires after officers went to speak to him at his home, in the presence of his parents, about the incidents.

"Contact has also been made with construction companies who are working on nearby development sites to ensure they are taking the appropriate steps to regularly remove debris from roads and the surrounding area."

Inspector Cox said there will be "regular patrols throughout the district" and local meetings to tackle these incidents.

To report any such incident or suspicious behaviour which might help the ongoing investigation, call the Braintree and Uttlesford Community Policing Team on 101 or submit a report through the Essex Police website. In an emergency, dial 999.


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