July 22, 2022 10.03 am

Increased patrols after anti-social behaviour at Hykeham’s Apex Lakes

Within hours over 200 congregated at the lakes

We are issuing a further warning for parents and carers to know where their children are this summer following anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and burglary at Apex Lakes in North Hykeham over the past few days.

We received five calls of reports of disorder involving more than 200 people congregating at the lakes in the space of a few hours on Tuesday 19 July.

Many of them were under 18, but there were also adults – not believed to be supervising the youths – and in some cases, whole families with their children in attendance. We also received emails from local residents who were disturbed by the activity taking place.

The first call on 19 July came in at 4.05pm. On attendance officers found hundreds of people drinking alcohol, swimming in the lake, causing noise and being generally disruptive.

Officers found that storage containers at the Sea Scouts had been broken in to, and canoes and paddleboards released onto the lake. This is being classed as a burglary, and taking without consent. Some of the items, along with the storage buildings, were also damaged and the cost is still being assessed by the Sea Scouts.

Hykeham Sailing Club also had six boats let loose which had to be retrieved, and 15 life-buoys which were all removed from their stations and thrown in the lakes. This means that in a life-saving emergency, the equipment needed to help someone isn’t readily available.

Officers responded to the location multiple times over the next several hours due to further reports.

Our teams have gone out with the scouts to help them retrieve the property which has been released onto the lake, and the scouts have collected more than 15 bags of rubbish from around the lake side. Debris included nitrous oxide containers and alcohol bottles.

Community Beat Manager PC Mark Wood, said: “Disorder like this is not simply youths “letting off steam”. It’s not harmless. Anti-social – and criminal – behaviour like this has a significant impact on the local community, who have their evenings disrupted, or activities cancelled because the equipment they use is damaged.

“There is a financial cost for clean-up and repairs. And lastly, it draws on resources from our response officers, who are then engaged in dispersing youths when there could be a genuine emergency where someone needs our help that we aren’t able to respond to.

“This lake is private property. It is not open for the public to walk around, swim in, or boat, and any access and use other than the sailing club, Sea Scouts, and Angling Club, which have legitimate use, is trespassing.

“We are doing everything within our power to ensure that anti-social behaviour like this doesn’t happen. We work closely with landowners to advise on security measures they can take, as well as partner agencies.

“This weekend, there will be increased patrols around the lakes and other areas – but we can’t solve this problem without the help of parents and carers who are responsible for young people knowing where they are and what they are doing.”