From the Citizen
Anger after fires, graffiti and faeces attacks at Stonehouse station
Disgusting and ongoing hooliganism at Stonehouse Railway Station has sparked a major investigation by British Transport Police.
The night-time vandalism and anti-social behaviour has even included faeces smeared on a door and has prompted house-to-house inquiries in the town to try and catch the culprits. The rail police have also asked nearby residents to be their eyes and ears in the hunt for the offenders.
"Obviously it is unacceptable behaviour and quite disgusting for staff members to be faced with foul excrement," said PC Luke Davis from British Transport Police. "I am now appealing for anyone who may have seen any suspicious behaviour or anyone hanging around the station, to come forward with information," PC Davis said. "We really need the local community's help to trace those responsible," he said.
CCTV images from Stonehouse Station are also being reviewed since the first incident of criminal damage at the end of February.
Altogether, PC Davis said, there have been seven incidents between February 27 and April 20. All happened in the early hours, between 11pm and 5.30am, when the station was unstaffed. Small fires were started on four separate occasions, and the station suffered from graffiti on two nights. On April 7 faeces were found smeared on the ticket office door.
Stonehouse Railway Station, which is between Burdett Road and Upper Queen's Road, always had kids hanging around it, one resident said.
There are bus shelter-like structures on the platform which are open to abuse, said the householder, who did not wish to be named.
Stonehouse Town Council member John Aldis said there was a need for provision for young people in the area since Gloucestershire County Council axed the youth club and youth worker in the town. And money ring fenced for a new youth club was lost, Mr Aldis said.
The town council is, however, looking at how to move forward and provide something for its teenagers, he said. "We want to enable young people to do something they want to do rather than cause problems like the vandalism that is beginning to happen," said Mr Aldis.
Already a youth partnership and youth forum are involved, a youth charity is coming into Stonehouse two evenings a week and there is a youngsters drop-in.
"This is also doing something towards civic pride," he said. There had been litter picks, including at the station, and a number of people had said they'd volunteer to help tidy up, Mr Aldis said.
Town clerk in Stonehouse, Richard Lacey, said co-incidentally a long overdue meeting with railways managers to discuss a possible "adopt a station" scheme was due to take place today.
To report anything, call BTP in confidence on 0800 49 50 40 or ring the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting incident reference B2/WWA of April 26, 2012.