Police drone flies over Hartlepool park as officers respond to rise in criminal incidents
Hartlepool’s green spaces are now protected on the ground and from the skies following a spate of incidents since the arrival of lighter night.
The action follows a recent increase in complaints about young people causing criminal damage,arson, anti-social behaviour and disorder in Hartlepool’s Ward Jackson Park and Summerhill Country Park.
Police have said most of these complaints are received after school hours until dark on weekday evenings and at different times across the weekend.
The majority of complaints relate to Ward Jackson Park and the patrols focused their efforts on the bowling green there.
Despite being fenced off and not open to the public, with signage in place, the area has still seen a number of issues recently.
Over at Summerhill, PCSO Mark Say carried out a drone flyover, which enabled officers on the ground to be directed to any trouble spots on the site.
The park has been targeted by vandals in recent months, with as much as 900 square metres of grassland destroyed in a “deliberate” fire in March and yobs spotted shooting at birds on the site.
Neighbourhoods Inspector Danny Trippett said: “The aim of the weekend’s activity was to reassure residents that we are listening to their concerns and we are acting on them.
“Our approach was very much to engage with young people and to educate them about the risks and dangers of their behaviour, but we were also prepared to issue ASB13 forms (warnings) and to take them home and speak to their parents and carers as well.
“Both areas saw highly visible foot patrols and we did engage with several groups of young people – one regarding graffiti which was subsequently cleaned up leaving no lasting damage.
“We also stop searched two men in their early 20s and recovered an amount of cannabis. We issued a cannabis warning.
“We’ll continue to gather intelligence on who’s causing crime and ASB in our green spaces and welcome information from the public so we can build up an accurate picture and deploy our resources effectively.
PSCO Say added: “This was a very worthwhile operation and a good chance to use the drone which can cover huge areas of land and save time by directing officers exactly where they may be needed.”