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VIDEOS: Exeter resident sets up CCTV to catch anti-social behaviour on his street

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

  • John Hatch said he took the drastic step after a series of incidents including vandalism to cars in Sylvan Road, Pennsylvania

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ONE Exeter resident has got so fed up with anti-social behaviour in his street he set up his own CCTV cameras.

John Hatch said he took the drastic step after a series of incidents including vandalism to cars in Sylvan Road, Pennsylvania.

He has complained to the university’s community liaison officer and the police about the latest incident outside his house, although it is not known whether those involved were students. Mr Hatch said his wife Sherree witnessed someone apparently defecating in the bushes outside Charinghay House shortly after 11pm on Friday, January 17.

CCTV footage which he subsequently sent to The Echo appears to show three people loitering in the street before one of them goes into the bushes and crouches down. His friend passes him what looks like a tissue and a few seconds later he emerges, adjusting his trousers. Mr Hatch claims he later saw excrement in the spot where the person was seen crouching.

It follows an incident in July 2012 – also captured on CCTV – when an apparently drunken student poured a bin full of vomit over Mr Hatch’s car.

After he complained to the university, the culprit was identified and subsequently visited Mr Hatch to apologise and pay for his car to be valeted.

He claims anti-social behaviour is an ongoing issue in an area where there are many student houses. “They need to be a lot more considerate towards people who actually live here,” he said. “These are our future doctors, police officers and solicitors.”

Mr Hatch said complaining to the university on previous occasions had led to a temporary improvement in behaviour.

“The majority of the time we are pacified and it goes quiet for a few months and then you get a new intake of students,” he said. “I’m pretty much surrounded by students. They come back about 3am completely drunk, making loads of noise. When the university is on holiday this is a nice, peaceful area and there are no problems.”

A spokeswoman for the University said: “The university takes all allegations of anti-social behaviour by students very seriously and undertakes the appropriate investigations, in partnership with the local police where necessary. However, in this particular instance there is no indication that the person(s) responsible are students.

“If a student is found to have been involved in anti-social behaviour, the university will consider what disciplinary action is required on a case-by-case basis.

“The university is committed to promoting positive community relations and helping to foster a pleasant environment for both students and residents of Exeter. While the police lead on public disturbances, our Estate Patrol team work 24 hours and residents with concerns involving students can contact them on 01392 263999.”

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  • exeterandy  |  January 21 2014, 8:53PM

    The university has no interest in "policing" its students. All it wants is for them to have a great student experience, regardless of whether they p**s off local residents or not, that way they keep their place in the league tables. The University is big business, pure and simple. Maybe the REAL police should start getting involved in the St James/ Pennsylvania area a bit more - unless they have completely abandoned it?

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