Child gang charged over £43,000 wrecking spree

A GANG of schoolkids caused £43,000 of damage when they vandalised an industrial ­estate, police say.

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It is alleged a young gang broke into industrial units at the Spiersbridge Business Park.

Windows of JCB diggers were smashed, as were those on coaches parked ­inside the Thornliebank-based park.

During the incident more than £43,000 worth of damage was caused to property.

Yesterday, seven youths aged just 12 and 13 were detained in a series of coordinated dawn raids.

Officers knocked on the doors of homes in Thornliebank, Mansefield and Arden in order to round up the boys and girls.

Six youngsters were later arrested for malicious mischief in connection with vandalism at the South Side industrial estate.

Chief Inspector Ann Bell said: "There needs to be an element of parental responsibility.

"Parents must be asking their children where they are and know where their children are going and what they are doing. The industrial park was treated like a playground.

"And their actions could also have been dangerous to themselves.

"It is not just the initial damage but the consequences of that damage for the business owners.

"Because of the alleged actions of a group of young people these vehicles are now off the road, work will have to be cancelled and businesses will not be able to fulfill their roles."

Of the six youths charged after yesterday morning's raid, two were 13-year-old girls and four were boys aged 12 and 13.

Last night a seventh young person was still ­being questioned.

Chief Inspector Bell, area commander for Pollok and Pollokshaws, said: "There is an important message here and that is that behaviour like this will not be tolerated.

"If anyone else was considering behaving in this way then know we will be coming for you. Even if the perpetrators are ­children it doesn't make a difference to us."

The raids come at the same time as a concentrated crime crackdown in Pollok and the surrounding area.

Operation Relay is aimed at violent criminals, gangs and serious and organised crime groups.

It will run until May 31, with officers taking action in an attempt to reduce crime at every level.

Police are targeting anti-social behaviour in the area. And officers are working closely with Glasgow Housing Association to share information about what youngsters are getting up to.

After any reports of disturbances, police and housing officers will carry out home visits, quizzing parents about where their children have been.

Mounted police were also drafted in to help curb anti-social behaviour in the area.

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

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