Warning to vandals targeting Hartlepool's Summerhill Country Park

Vandals targeting a Hartlepool park have been warned they face tough action.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 9:20 pm

A spate of incidents have taken place at Summerhill Country Park and Outdoor Nature Reserve, off Catcote Road, following the arrival of lighter nights and better weather.

Yobs have started fires, damaged the children’s play area and even used air guns to kill some of the wild birds at the site.

With quad bike riders now causing criminal damage, Hartlepool Borough has joined forces with Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade to crackdown on the problems.

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A spate of incidents at Summerhill Country Park and Outdoor Nature Reserve has seen Hartlepool Borough Council and emergency services join together to crack down on the ongoing problems.
A spate of incidents at Summerhill Country Park and Outdoor Nature Reserve has seen Hartlepool Borough Council and emergency services join together to crack down on the ongoing problems.

Police presence on the site has increased and with patrols boosted by greater use of security surveillance technology.

Anyone who has witnessed anti-social behaviour at the site is being urged to get in touch and and families are being urged to make sure that they know where their children are - and what they are doing – at all times.

Ian Gardiner, the council’s head of leisure, recreation and participation, said: “Summerhill is, and will continue to be, an important and much-loved open space for people of all ages to enjoy safely.

“Anti-social behaviour of any sort – whether by young people or adults – will not be tolerated.

An area of grassland at Summerhill Country Park that was set on fire last month

“We will not permit the behaviour of a small, mindless minority to affect the enjoyment of the many thousands of people who visit the park each year.

“Summerhill is for everyone and we all have a responsibility to look after it, so if anyone has any information about anti-social behaviour on the site, I would ask them to please report it.”

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Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team’s Temporary Chief Inspector Mark Haworth said: “Officers are regularly patrolling the area following reports of criminal damage and issues with off-road bikes.

Claire McDonald Senior Outreach Officer at Summerhill Country Park next to the area of land that was set on fire. Picture by FRANK REID

“We want to ensure Summerhill Country Park continues to be enjoyed by our communities and this behaviour is not acceptable. If you see behaviour you’re concerned about, or have information which could assist the police, please call 101.”

Anyone with any information should contact the police on the non-emergency number 101. In the event of an ongoing emergency, dial 999.

Alternatively people can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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