Thursday, May 31, 2007
Springboig, Glasgow: Liz Cooper
Liz, 38, explains: ‘Martin was playing with his basketball when three kids approached him. They took his ball and when he asked for it back, they hit him over the head with a brick.
They grabbed him by the hair and smashed his face against a fence, fracturing his cheekbone and breaking his nose. They kicked him, jumped on his head and back, then they whipped him with a rubber hose.
‘Thankfully a man passed by walking his dog, so Martin had the chance to run away. The boys chased him all the way home.
‘He was so badly beaten he was taken to hospital and examined by a facial specialist.
‘His attackers, who were aged 14 and under, were arrested and charged, but the case went no further than a children’s panel.
‘Because of his condition, Martin is very quiet,' says Liz. 'He now refuses to go outside without me. He has constant nightmares about the boys coming for him and he wakes up in a cold sweat.
‘I’m joining Mums’ Army because I want to encourage other families who have been victimised by antisocial behaviour to speak out. We have to work together to put a stop to it.’
Martin Cooper after the attack
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Lincoln: Sarah Smith
The same man then threatened Sarah's family a second time in their local park.
Sarah, 23, explains: ‘He came at my boyfriend and our two children with a metal bar, shouting and swearing. The police arrested him and he was given an ASBO, but he was still free to make our lives hell.
‘We’re not the only people he's targeted, and there are other drug addicts causing problems here. Many members of our community have been affected but they are too scared to speak out.
‘I’m supporting Mums’ Army because we can’t let these thugs get away it any longer. I hope that people with join with me to change our neighbourhood.’
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent: Ann Jones
Desperate for help after three frustrating years, Ann, 57, called Mums’ Army.
She said: ‘It’s like living on a rubbish tip. Cans and bottles are thrown everywhere and car ashtrays are emptied on the streets. When I ask youngsters to pick up their litter, they just laugh and swear at me. There’s no discipline anymore. It’s awful.
‘I wrote a letter of complaint to the council, which has been ignored, and even though the police admit they know who the troublemakers are, they say they can’t do anything.
‘I’m determined to clean up my neighbourhood. People say it’s always someone else’s problem but our community is our problem and we have to do something to bring back pride and respect.’
Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent
Tel: 07774 070406
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Harraby, Cumbria: Jane-Ann Clark
When a teenage girl moved into Jane-Ann Clark’s quiet street her community was turned upside down.
Jane-Ann, 30, of Harraby, Cumbria, called the Mums’ Army Hotline and said: ‘There were loud parties and constant disturbance. We couldn’t sleep and my newborn baby was kept awake all night. I was at my wits' end.
‘But with the help of Victim Support and my neighbour Debbie Downie, we fought to reclaim our street and lives. We kept antisocial behaviour diaries and stayed in contact with the police and housing association. Even though we were intimidated and scared of reprisals we took the girl to court three times and after six months of hell she was evicted.’
Jane-Ann and Debbie received a £1000 Respect award. Jane-Ann says: ‘We stood up to the problems here and have got a brilliant outcome. We’re giving the money to local schools and to the community centre. And by setting up a Harraby branch of Mums’ Army, Debbie and I hope to continue to improve our neighbourhood.’
Debbie and Jane-Ann with their children
Tumble, Carmarthenshire: Carys Evans
Carys, 31, called the Mums’ Army Hotline and said: ‘It’s not a bad area where we live but the kids have nothing to do. They hang around on the streets damaging property and being abusive and if things don’t change I’m worried about what they’ll do next.
‘I have five children - two with ADHD and learning difficulties. I don’t feel it’s safe to let them play outside. I’m joining Mums’ Army because there needs to be more to engage teenagers and to unite the community.’
Tel: 07875 228171
Mums' Army Heroes: Bruce Lawrence
When he saw the man openly dealing drugs in broad daylight, he said: ‘Stop selling that rubbish.’
The man became aggressive and Mr Lawrence tackled him to the ground, and was knifed above his right ear.
After being treated at hospital Mr Lawrence, 32, who works with the disabled community in Kentish Town, said: ‘I want to send a message out to all these people who think they can sell drugs on the streets.
'We’re not putting up with it any longer. I hate all the drugs causing ruin and destruction in my neighbourhood. People here are starting to fight back.’
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Durham: Roz Dunnill
Roz, 59, called the Mums’ Army Hotline and explained: ‘The police arrived but the officer turned his back on the boy and allowed him to run off. Days later the police called to investigate the theft of our car, when it hadn’t even been stolen!
I’m not surprised things are out of control when it seems the police have no idea what they’re doing. When decent people try to stand up to crime and antisocial behaviour, the authorities are not there to back them up. I’m joining Mums’ Army because if enough people speak out, the politicians will have to take notice.’