Three teenagers who gained access to the roof of a High Street store in Lincoln before breaking wooden beams off a skylight which were thrown towards the High Street while people were walking below have been sentenced in court.
The boys, one 15-year-old and two 14-year-olds, gained access to the roof of the disused Boots store on 2 July this year. CCTV footage showed one of the 14-year-olds and the 15-year-old boy working together to break apart a wooden skylight, before all three climbed to the highest part of the roof and danced around gesturing towards the High Street.
One of the 14-year-old boys was then seen to take hold of the remains of the wooden skylight and launched them over the side of the building while people were walking on the street below. He also launched a light coloured pole towards the High Street. One clip showed a beam bounce near to the edge of the roof while there were people directly underneath, and another showed a beam go over the edge of the building. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
The entire incident was caught on CCTV by the team at the City of Lincoln Council who alerted police.
Community Beat Manager for the Lincoln South Neighbourhood Policing Team, PC Chris Bayes-Walker, said: “This was really shocking footage to watch, and incredibly reckless behaviour. It was clear that the throws were wild and uncontrolled and there was no way to know who or what might be struck as they fell to the ground.
“At the time, people could be seen walking up and down the High Street, including directly underneath the disused building. There was a clear and obvious risk of serious harm to anybody walking past the store frontage, and it is remarkable that there of serious injury should any of the items have fallen over the edge.”
The boys were interviewed and reported for summons following proactive work by the team with the help of community intelligence.
- The 15-year-old was summonsed to court with criminal damage.
- One of the 14-year-olds was summonsed to court for criminal damage and an unrelated theft.
- The 14-year-old who threw the wood off the side of the building, who has since turned 15, was summonsed to court with a public nuisance offence related to the risk of harm from his actions and a further unrelated theft.
All three have now received six month youth referral orders and must undertake education related to their offence, including the impact it could have and potential consequences. They will also undertake reparation activities.
The two who were summonsed with the unrelated thefts received fines which their parents will be responsible for paying.
None of the boys can be named for legal reasons.
Their prosecution is part of a wider drive to tackle youth anti-social-behaviour (ASB) in the city, and those efforts continue. Officers carry out proactive patrols of local spaces, and have a list of individuals known to cause disruption in the area which is monitored closely. When offending takes place, every effort will be made to arrest those responsible and deal with them appropriately.
Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams rely on community intelligence to carry out their work to keep their areas safe.
We would like to appeal to our communities to continue to report offending when they see it or hear about it. This can be done by contacting the team at a local station, by calling 101, or completely anonymously through Crimestoppers.