Youths with catapult kill geese and threaten residents in Brentwood

A Brentwood resident has been left fearing for his family after a gang of “feral” youths slaughtered seven geese and fired a catapult at him.

Police arrived soon after the incident was reported on Sunday afternoon (July 12) but no one has been caught, leaving Jeff Forkes to ask “who is there to protect us?”

Mr Forkes, who lost seven geese in the rampage on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the lake near his Brook Farm home, said the police were not taking the threat from ball bearings fired from catapults seriously enough.

He said: “When you get shot at with steel ball bearings by a gang of feral kids, it is only going to be a matter of time until someone does get killed.

“I ride up to that lake. My grandchildren ride up there.

“All the kids ride up there from six to 11 years old. I take my 19-month-old grandson up to the fishing lake on my golf buggy.

“Imagine him getting hit with a steel ball bearing from a catapult. It would kill him.

“If it can kill a great big goose, it would kill a baby.”

After first killing geese on Saturday, the gang allegedly returned to Jeff’s property in Murthering Lane, but not before threatening one of his neighbours while trespassing on her land.

They then returned to Brook Farm, killed more of Jeff’s geese, threatened nearby fishermen and fired again at Jeff as they made their way off the fields at around 3.20pm.

He said: “After the police arrived, they went around the lake taking statements off the fishermen and then they came to me.

“The officer said ‘they’ve gone. You’ll have to write to the police commissioner. He might do something about it.’

“I am absolutely disgusted about it. Who’s out there to protect us?”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We received a number of calls on July 5 relating to incidents in Murthering Lane, Navestock.

“It was reported that a group of teenagers had killed geese on a lake on the night of July 4 and had threatened fishermen.

“On July 5, a teenager on a quadbike was reported to have driven a towards a woman and threatened her.

“Officers carried out a search of the area and we are continuing to investigate both incidents.

“We are aware of ongoing reports of antisocial behaviour and motorbikes being ridden antisocially in the Curtis Mill Green and Murthering Lane areas.

“We have been carrying out patrols and investigating incidents, and are working closely with local councils, Natural England and the local community to address this issue.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter