A GROUP of youths were arrested by police on suspicion of causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and racially aggravated offences.

The Colchester Community Policing Team detained a total of six young people in the Greenstead area on Wednesday following reports of anti-social behaviour.

Described as being “actions that harm or lack consideration for the well-being of others, anti-social behaviour was reported 286 times to Colchester police in October.

After investigating the calls, the officers initially arrested five individuals, before a sixth arrest was made after the force conducted follow-up enquiries.

All the youths were arrested on suspicion of causing in excess of £10,000 worth of criminal damage, while some were also arrested for racially aggravated offences.

A spokesman for Essex Police’s Colchester Community Policing Team has now reassured residents in Greenstead that there will be a heightened police presence.

He said: “We have seen an increase in reports around Greenstead for anti-social behaviour and have linked this behaviour to some offences that have been reported.

“All six of the youths have been released with bail conditions while we continue our enquiries.

“We are continuing patrols in the area and working to make the community safer, including working with our partner agencies on the estate.”