FAMILIES living on one of Chippenham’s largest housing estates have declared war on a gang of teenagers who are vandalising the neighbourhood – and say they are beginning to win the battle with the teen terrors.

Homeowners in Cepen Park have set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme which has been out on patrol on the streets every evening to deter yobs who are making their lives a misery.

The trouble-making youngsters have damaged cars and fences and have thrown eggs at houses and vehicles. Incidents of vandalism and nuisance causing have been reported to the police.

Mark Lewis, who lives on the estate, says he fears for the safety of his wife and two children.

He said: “It’s really not nice living here at the moment.

“I’ve been living here for 11 years and there have been periods of troublemaking teenagers. The last few weeks have been the worst though.

“They smashed a wing mirror from one of our cars, which cost £1,500 to fix. They left scratches on the bonnet of the other car. One time they destroyed one of the fences out front which I had to spend a whole day repairing. I shouldn’t have to do that.

“Now as a community we have decided to come together because we are getting fed up. Since forming the Neighbourhood Watch we have noticed less trouble.

“I’m definitely concerned for the safety of my family. At times we’ve just considered just running away from it all. It stresses us out to worry about what they might do next.

“I’ve had to go out and buy CCTV to protect my property.”

The Islington Vauxhall garage on the nearby A4 was also the victim of one incident, when gravel was left on some of the cars, but no damage was caused.

Paul Jones, showroom manager, said: “We have a 24-hour monitoring system in place which so far is doing a good job of deterring any vandalism.

“We haven’t had any major issues yet, and hope it stays that way. We are helping the Neighbourhood Watch team where we can with our CCTV footage.”

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “We have been made aware of ongoing issues involving anti-social behaviour in Cepen Park South and Queens Crescent.

“Once this was reported to us we started carrying out high-visibility patrols and on January 8 officers apprehended a group of seven teenage boys who had been kicking bins in the area.

“The group, who were aged between 13 and 16, were spoken to by officers in the presence of their parents and anti-social behaviour warning letters have been given out.

“We are working with the local Neighbourhood Watch team to ensure a joined up approach to the issues and would urge anyone with concerns to contact the local Community Policing Team.

“You can do this by emailing CPTNorthWiltshire@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk. If you want to report a crime, then call 101, or 999 in an emergency.”