Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Swadlincote, Derbyshire: Betty Pett
Justine’s mother Betty, 51, called the Mums’ Army Hotline in a desperate plea for help, saying: ‘Our windows are smashed, our car tyres are slashed and smoke bombs are posted through our letter box. A brick was thrown through the window of Justine’s specially modified bathroom and now she’s too afraid to use it.
‘The police say they can’t do anything without the names of the culprits, but they always strike in the dark. I’m joining Mums’ Army because I don’t want my family to live in fear.’
Halesowen, West Midlands: Laura Reynolds
Laura, 25, says: ‘There’s a breakdown in society that must be addressed. It’s seen as cool for young people to have little or no respect for others and if something isn’t done, things will only deteriorate further.
‘I work for a youth club which mediates between the local community and the youths, and now I’m setting up a branch of Mums’ Army to unite and strengthen my neighbourhood.’
Halesowen, West Midlands
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Houghton le Spring, Tyne & Wear: Lisa Green
They shouted abuse and hurled missiles at the windows.
Lisa approached them and said: ‘Please stop it, my baby can’t sleep.’ The youths pretended to apologise but when she turned her back, they attacked her.
Lisa, 26, told Mums’ Army: ‘I was pulled to the ground by my hair and kicked and punched from every direction. My family tried to help me but they were held back by youths with knives and broken bottles. The attack lasted 25 minutes, until the police arrived. One of the ring leaders was arrested and I was taken to hospital. I lost four teeth, had a suspected fractured cheekbone, extensive bruising and impaired vision.
‘Weeks later, three more arrests were made. Yet all were released and no further action was taken. I was scared to go outside alone, but determined not to let my attackers get away with it. So finally I wrote to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and after my case was investigated, two officers were charged with misconduct.
‘All I wanted was for those responsible to be punished but when police failed to do that, I had to do something.
Lisa, of Houghton-le-Spring, has moved twice since her attack, which took place in Sunderland. She says: ‘I’m joining Mums’ Army because I want to do everything I can to help change things and protect my three children.’
Houghton le Spring, Tyne & Wear
Tel: 07858 302776
Friday, March 16, 2007
Gillingham, Kent: Amanda Kinslow
His girlfriend Amanda Kinslow was left so upset and angered by the incident that she contacted Mums’ Army. Amanda, 24, explains: ‘Eric had a serious head wound and he needed stitches. The police had evidence but failed to act on it and no action was taken against any of his attackers.
‘Is it any wonder that people are taking the law into their own hands when the police can’t be bothered to pull their fingers out and do what they're paid to do?’
‘I’m joining Mums’ Army because I have three young children and I refuse to fear for their safety.’
Tel: 07882 408456
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Folkestone, Kent: Joanne Westbrook
Joanne, 36, says: ‘My two children have both been bullied at school and nothing was done to protect them. What has happened to our human rights?
'We must teach children to respect their elders and put pressure on the authorities to administer discipline.’
Bargeod, Caerphilly: Sue Laing
Margaret, 52, of Pontypool, Torfaen, says: ‘I was worried for my daughter and my grandchildren and wished I lived closer to them.’
With Margaret’s help and support, her daughter Sue Laing is starting her own branch of Mums’ Army in Bargeod, Caerphilly.
Mother-of-two Sue, 30, says: ‘Parts of my neighbourhood are marred by graffiti, violence and crime. People don’t feel safe to go out at night because teenagers have nothing to do except hang about on the streets.
‘I volunteer at a local youth club for under-11’s and I have a good relationship with members of my community, which I hope can be built on by joining Mums’ Army. Yob culture is something we can stop and I won’t sit back while people are scared to live here.’
Sue Laing: 07851 437671
Margaret Davies: 07776 405257
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Islington, North London: Joan Ford
Joan, 54, told us: ‘The local youths are calling me a snitch and I’m scared for the safety of my son and granddaughter, who are both mentally disabled.’
When the ITV Tonight programme was broadcast, yobs on Islington’s Andover Estate went on the rampage and Joan’s neighbour, who was also interviewed by the MP, was driven out of her home by a firebomb.
Joan says: ‘Now youths are outside my house day and night, shouting abuse and throwing bricks at the windows. My 16-year-old granddaughter needs my supervision 24 hours a day and my son refuses to go outside after being attacked at the local shops.
‘We have no support. The only advice authorities have given is to take photographs, but I’m too frightened. I’m joining Mums’ Army because we need protection. I don’t want to be forced out of my home.’
Islington, North London
MP Ann Widdecombe interviews Joan Ford
Biddenden, Kent: Amanda Knott
'I challenged the teenagers, who swore at me and couldn’t have cared less. Then I called the police to report the incident and they didn’t even bother to follow it up.’
Amanda, 40, has since moved to Biddenden, Kent, with her two children.
She says: ‘Even though we’re now part of a close-knit community with good policing, the youngsters hang around on the playing fields at night because there is nothing for them to do.
‘I hope Mums’ Army can help me to create more opportunities for young people.’
Tel: 07900 251554