Thursday, 07 July 2022

Teenagers drunk and fighting at ‘party’

SHARDS of glass were left on playing fields after an impromptu party involving scores of teenagers.

Residents had to pick the glass up following the event at Mapledurham playing fields in Caversham Heights on Saturday night.

A young child is said to have been injured by broken glass left in the children’s playground at the green space off Upper Woodcote Road.

Between 50 and 70 teenagers are said to have been at the party and were fighting, drinking alcohol and playing loud music late into the night.

Councillor Isobel Ballsdon, who represents Mapledurham ward on Reading Borough Council, said: “I understand that teenagers don’t have anywhere to socialise, as they are not allowed in pubs and nightclubs, and they obviously want to see friends after the pandemic.

“But the flip side is that residents should be able to go and walk their dogs or play football on the playing field without worrying about broken glass.

“I have had a couple of residents pick up pieces of glass and apparently a child suffered a cut while in the playground.

“It’s not an issue of stopping gatherings like this but instead about keeping people safe. Residents living around the field shouldn’t be disturbed.

“We need to all try to exist happily together and while I understand that teenagers will be teenagers, we have to ensure people are safe.”

Cllr Ballsdon investigated after being called by a worried resident and eventually called the police.

She said: “I saw one girl was exceedingly drunk. She was slumped on a bench with a couple of girlfriends looking after her. I discovered later she’d had a whole bottle of vodka on an empty stomach.

“A fight broke out between two boys who then were surrounded by a group of boys. So many teenagers were incredibly drunk. Apparently, some marijuana was being smoked too.

“I called the police and when news spread of this some of the teenagers started dispersing.

“The police said they would assess the situation and only send officers if they received any more calls. It’s fair enough, they have to take a strategic view.

“It was worrying seeing how easily what was intended to be fun could have ended really badly.”

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