A dedicated week of action has got underway in a Hartlepool park to highlight the need for everyone to respect it and report any incidents of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
Hartlepool Borough Council says a £550,000 programme of improvements to Rossmere Park, including new play and leisure equipment, parking facilities and enhancements to the pond area, has been overshadowed by recent cases of antisocial behaviour.
They include vandalism to the public toilets, starting of small fires and abusive behaviour towards the park security staff including one officer being stoned by yobs when he tried to lock up at night.
The attack on a private security officer was reported by Fens and Rossmere Councillor Bob Buchan who described it as 'terrible' and unnecessary.
A week of action spearheaded by the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, which is made up of Hartlepool Borough Council, the Police and the Fire Brigade. is running until Tuesday, November 6, to get across the message that vandalism and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.
Residents and park users are being urged to play their part by immediately reporting in confidence information about any incidents in the park.
Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, Chair of the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “Like our other parks, Rossmere Park is an asset to the town and a bright future beckons for it in the form of the major investment in new facilities.
“Sadly, over recent months a small minority of people have been intent on spoiling things for everyone else, and we won’t tolerate this.
“The Hartlepool Community Safety Team is working hard to identify the culprits so that action can be taken against them and I would appeal to local residents to help us do this by reporting – in confidence – any information they might have by calling 01429 523100 during normal office hours or 101 outside office hours.
“Together we can help ensure that Rossmere Park and its staff are treated with the respect they deserve and the park continues to be enjoyed by people of all ages.”
Also throughout the week, the council’s Grounds Maintenance Team will be carrying out a range of winter maintenance work around the park, including cutting back perimeter shrubs and clearing leaves, and its Enforcement Team will be keeping a check on the area for issues such as littering and dog fouling.
Later in the week, the Friends of Rossmere Park and other volunteers will be lending a hand to help keep the park clean and tidy.