A FRUSTRATED resident has hit out at a group of teenagers caught blatantly flouting lockdown rules in a park in Colchester.

The resident, who asked not to be named, captured the nine youngsters congregating in lower Castle Park, near the duck pond, over the weekend.

Existing lockdown rules prevent residents from meeting up with those outside of their household, even outdoors.

Groups of congregating teens have been an issue in Colchester’s open spaces during the third national lockdown, leading to increased patrols in high risk areas.

The resident accused teenagers of “taking the mickey” out of the severity of the pandemic.

He said: “I realise this age group isn’t the only reason we are so deep in to this pandemic but they are a major part of it. Of course, it’s not all of them but I can’t help but think it is the majority of them.

“If you walk along the street getting some daily exercise or when going to get some shopping you see them in groups, all together, with no masks and showing not a care in the world.

“This group was not showing any worry for anybody else and were obviously not bothered about the pandemic going on.

“Then a pair of community police officers were seen and the group miraculously parted ways incredibly quickly, which makes me wonder if they knew all along that they knew they were taking the mickey.

“Boo-hoo they are bored and they have nothing to do. What do they think people of generations in the past used to do before technology exploded on the scene? This doesn’t give them an excuse to act like they have no responsibility to anyone else.”

The gathering reportedly had something to do with video game Pokemon Go.

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Colchester Council’s public safety boss Mike Lilley said patrols had already stepped up to deter youngsters from gathering.

Mike Lilley
  • Mike Lilley says patrols have been ramped up

He said: “This should not be happening and we will get in touch with the town team again and asked them patrol the area.

“We have had an issue in Castle Park and also at the Recreation Ground in Old Heath, where people pushed down some fencing to play basketball.

“I think it is a sign of frustration and everyone is feeling it, but the weather improving so quickly has not helped.

“We will look at increasing patrols further and hopefully there will be a visible presence to discourage people.”