Police vow to crackdown on anti-social behaviour at new Penwortham playground
Police in Penwortham say they are stepping up patrols after a rise in anti-social behaviour problems in Hurst Grange Park.
Last week The Post revealed how parents were calling for an urgent clear-out of the new toddler sandpit in the park, after claiming children had been injured on shards of broken glass and sharp pieces of metal buried beneath the surface.
The playground was opened in March after a undergoing a £255,000 renovation.
>>>>Click here to read more about the sand pit problems.
Park users have also complained that older teenagers have been monopolising equipment meant for younger children and using foul language.
One parent wrote on social media: "I took my son today, regretted it. All of the high school kids were acting like idiots climbing on the toddler equipment, completely took over the swings and round about and then the seesaw. Swearing, talking about paedophiles and all sorts of horrific stuff at the top of their lungs. I won’t be going back."
Now "disappointed" police say they have identified key times for problems, and will be stepping up patrols - as well as visiting homes and issuing Anti-Social Behaviour Agreement contracts to those responsible.
Sergeant Angela Atkinson of South Ribble Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "South Ribble neighbourhood police are aware of recent reports from concerned members of the public in relation to the children’s play area in Hurst Grange Park.
"We are disappointed that the play area has been treated like this and have been in close contact with the park ranger and local council in order to problem solve how we can stop this from happening again.
"We have identified the main times the anti social behaviour occurs and have ensured there are more neighbourhood patrols in the area at key times.
"I have patrolled on foot myself many times recently and engaged with concerned parents to identify any people responsible for the rise in anti-social behaviour.
"On the whole the majority of the older children using the play area are not causing an issue however the small minority who are we have conducted visits to their parents and will look to issue Anti-Social Behaviour Agreement contracts with any that continue."
South Ribble Council, which runs the park, said inspections of the sand pit were carried out regularly and have been increased due to reports.
Report incidents online via Lancashire Police Website, ring 101 or email the neighbourhood team directly on: [email protected], however this is not monitored 24 hours so ring 999 if an incident is of an urgent nature and requires immediate attention.
To report damaged equipment or issues such as broken glass, call the council on 01772 625625.