Yobs force Sheringham clock tower lock-up

A clock tower, used as a symbol of a Norfolk seaside resort on postcards and photographs, is to have its shelter locked up because of 'foul-mouthed' youths intimidating townsfolk.

A clock tower, used as a symbol of a Norfolk seaside resort on postcards and photographs, is to have its shelter locked up because of 'foul-mouthed' youths intimidating townsfolk.

The High Street focal point, originally built in 1862 with a clock fitted in 1903, has become an all-day hang-out for people to smoke, vandalise and swear at passersby.

At a recent town council meeting, one shopkeeper raised the issue and told how he believed some were armed.

The man, who would not give his name for fear of a backlash, said: 'They are loud and foul-mouthed - and that's just the girls. They have no respect for people or property.


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'Last week, among the rubbish was a rapper of a new utility knife - so it's safe to say one of them was armed.'

He said the vandals could arrive as early as 9.30am and regularly leave it in a terrible state.

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Sheringham's councillors had a lengthy discussion about the problem at their meeting, with some members telling how they had also been intimidated by people of all ages using the shelter.

The authority reluctantly voted to lock the gates of the tower's shelter for two months.

It is hoped the measure will force people to move on and allow it to be re-opened in time for the busy tourist season.

Mayor Noel Gant said he would be sad to see the clock locked up but something had to be done.

'I'm particularly disappointed. I was born in Sheringham and I have always looked up at that town clock as the figure point of Sheringham. It appears on photographs and postcards.

'During my three years as mayor I've tried to advocate pride in Sheringham. Unfortunately these people desecrating the town have no pride whatsoever.'

Norfolk police said PCSO Gary Baxter of the Sheringham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) had been charged with investigating anti-social behaviour in the town and was aware of problems at the clock tower.

A spokesman said young people gathering there had been spoken to regularly and their details taken.

Those youngsters proving most challenging had anti-social referrals against them - which could lead to ASBOs being issued.

Police have urged anyone experiencing problems to contact Sheringham SNT on 0845 456 4567.

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