Large gangs of teenagers have been seen intimidating people, nicking delivery bikes and even causing damage to bus stops and shop windows at Stonedale Retail Park near Norris Green, Liverpool, recently. One customer said he’d seen some of the yobs push shoppers and spit at people during his visit this week.
Merseyside Police said it has stepped up patrols but Daily Express readers have suggested stricter punishments is the only way to end the anti-social behaviour.
One woman posted on Facebook: “National service will do it, let’s hope they are prepared.”
One man shared: “Corporal punishment is required.”
And another reader said: “Put the yobs in the army for two years.”
A further reader stated: They need boot camp for two years.”
A Dispersal Zone area was put in place around the retail park from Wednesday at 7pm until Thursday at 7am.
It gave police powers to direct people they suspected of causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance or anti-social behaviour to members of the public to leave the designated area and not return for up to 48 hours.
But some have argued those suspects should have criminal records for such behaviour.
“It’s becoming lawless,” one reader said.
“Prison is a deterrent,” another shared.
“Give them a criminal record so it shows up when they apply for jobs,” one grandmother suggested.
Stonedale Retail Park, which has a cinema, several restaurants including McDonalds, KFC and Nando’s and other shops, is beside large housing estates and near sprawling suburbs.
The unruly youths, believed to be from these areas, have been warned the behaviour won’t be tolerated.
Community Policing Inspector Andrew Lloyd, of Merseyside Police, said: “We have introduced this dispersal zone as an extra precaution in response to a recent increase in reports of anti-social behaviour and criminality in the area, which is having a significant impact on the people who work and visit there.
“Recent incidents include thefts and attempted thefts of delivery driver bikes and mopeds, youths gathering and intimidating staff and customers, and criminal damage to bus stops and windows of restaurants.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and extra officers will remain in the area to disperse any groups causing such incidents, and to provide reassurance to the vast majority of law-abiding people in the area. Action will be taken to stop reckless acts of anti-social behaviour to make sure that everyone can feel safe
“If you witness any anti-social behaviour or have any information about such incidents, please contact or speak to our officers and we will take action.”