Police clampdown on park yobs is working

Coun Ray Wells pictured at the entrance to Ward Jackson Park.
Coun Ray Wells pictured at the entrance to Ward Jackson Park.
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A POLICE clampdown on yobs who cause anti-social behaviour in a popular park is working, say community leaders.

Under-age drinkers who congregate in Ward Jackson Park, in the West Park area of Hartlepool, are also being targeted by officers after calls from ward councillors to get tough on yobs during the summer months.

Extra patrols were launched last month and the greater police presence is already having a positive affect. It was agreed after a meeting between Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Borough Council officers and councillors.

There are already CCTV cameras in the park and signs warning yobs that they are being watched are due to go up shortly.

Conservative group leader Councillor Ray Wells (pictured) who represents the Park ward, said: “The extra patrols certainly seem to be having a positive affect.

“I know there was a large amount of alcohol confiscated from under-age drinkers on the first weekend the patrols were stepped up.

“The police have adopted a zero tolerance approach to under-age drinkers and the light nights obviously make it easier for them to monitor the park.

“Warning notices are due to be put up at every entrance to the park informing people that CCTV is in operation.

“So if someone does want to cause trouble then it is a question of when and not if they get caught. Schools in the area are also warning their pupils before the summer holidays that the police are carrying out more patrols.”

The meeting was held after concerns from Park ward councillors that a small minority of people causing anti-social behaviour could prevent other residents from enjoying the park.

They issued a warning in a bid to stamp out yobbish behaviour before any problems escalate. In previous years there have been problems with broken bottles, smashed glass and under-age drinking in the park.

Police say that over the years they have stepped up patrols at Ward Jackson at “core times” during the lighter summer nights.

Sergeant Dave Halliday, of the Central Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “We have an excellent relationship with our local ward councillors and work closely with them to put resources in place in order to tackle any concerns that residents raise.

“Our effectiveness is strengthened by support from the local community and the work in Ward Jackson Park is another example of how the flow of intelligence between police, residents and partner agencies can have real success.”

A council spokesman had previously said the local authority works closely with ward councillors, residents, the police and other organisations to maintain the “highest possible standards” at Ward Jackson Park.