Teen gangs force play park closure

This Is Wiltshire: Councillors for Walcot and Park North, Mark Dempsey, left, and Abdul Amin at the play park which is to be removed due to the anti-social behaviour centred around it.Picture:  ALEX SKENNERTON Buy this photo » Councillors for Walcot and Park North, Mark Dempsey, left, and Abdul Amin at the play park which is to be removed due to the anti-social behaviour centred around it.Picture: ALEX SKENNERTON

A PLAY park in Walcot will be torn down by Swindon Council after residents were plagued by youths misusing the site.

During the summer months around 30 juveniles as young as 12 who visited Buckhurst Fields played football towards the centre of the green space.

But as the nights began to draw in the youngsters moved their game to the park on the corner of Bisley Close and Concord Walk, and soon began to intimidate the residents.

They would kick the football at windows and on to roofs, jump over walls and trample flowers as well as shouting and swearing outside into the early hours of the morning.

One resident, who did not wish to be identified for fear of being targeted by the youths, said: “I was very ill at the time and I was lying in bed and could hear them outside. My hands were shaking.

“They were throwing plastic bottles at the window.

“It’s just so sad that it has to be taken down just because of their behaviour. It’s a shame for the young ones.

“I know the mums like to come and play with their toddlers and chat on the swings after dropping their older children off at school.

“But it’s dangerous. They have found needles and all sorts in there, it’s not safe for children.”

The residents were impressed with the work of the Neighbour-hood Police Team, which made the issue a priority and led patrols at different times to try and catch the group.

East Sector Inspector Joe Saunders said: “We received a number of complaints from residents in the Walcot area regarding groups of youths acting in an anti-social manner in the local area. As a result of this, and in partnership with the anti-social behaviour team at Swindon Council, the local Neighbourhood Policing Team established a dedicated operation to tackle this.

“The operation, led by PC Dan Ashfield, involved an increase in patrols in the area and more communication with local residents.”

Residents also contacted councillors to try and see the matter resolved.

Coun Mark Dempsey (Lab, Walcot & Park North) said: “This is really worrying and upsetting for residents and as councillors we work very closely with the Neighbourhood Police Team in order to ensure that anti-social behaviour is tackled and residents can live a peaceful life. It seems that in this case the play park is leading to problems.

“Hopefully when the equipment is removed from the play park it will be used for children in this area in a more appropriate place.”

However, the council plans to remove the play park and use the equipment in another part of town.

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “The play area near Helston Road and Bisley Close is designed for small children and was installed approximately six years ago to coincide with the new homes that were built in the area.

“Unfortunately, the play area has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour and, as a result, we have received a number of complaints from local residents.

“Following discussions between our ASB team, the police and local ward councillors it was agreed that the best course of action was to remove the play area, particularly as there is a larger play area just a few hundred yards away at Buckhurst Rec.

“We are looking to re-use some of the play equipment in the play area at Eastern Avenue.”

Police are monitoring the situation and any member of the public who wishes to report any incident of anti-social behaviour should contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.

Comments (16)

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7:38am Fri 6 Dec 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

So instead of dealing with the problem, the answer is to remove the play area..... How very typical of authorities these days...!
So instead of dealing with the problem, the answer is to remove the play area..... How very typical of authorities these days...! LordAshOfTheBrake

10:14am Fri 6 Dec 13

Ringer says...

Take the park away and the gangs will simply continue to do what they're doing but somewhere else instead.

As LordAsh says, the authorities never seem to want to deal with the ACTUAL problem. Why not? We give them the money with which to do it and they pay people that money in order to do it, so why is nothing ever done?
Take the park away and the gangs will simply continue to do what they're doing but somewhere else instead. As LordAsh says, the authorities never seem to want to deal with the ACTUAL problem. Why not? We give them the money with which to do it and they pay people that money in order to do it, so why is nothing ever done? Ringer

10:31am Fri 6 Dec 13

Oik1 says...

How on earth can anyone let these little turds win and think that's the answer to the problem?
So what next, the thugs move to the next play area / dark corner a few hundred yards away and have that destroyed as well, and all the while young kids and parents have to go without a local play facility, so much for getting our kids outside for a more healthy lifestyle, take away the play areas and shove an X box in front of them, is that the way forward?
I think not!
How on earth can anyone let these little turds win and think that's the answer to the problem? So what next, the thugs move to the next play area / dark corner a few hundred yards away and have that destroyed as well, and all the while young kids and parents have to go without a local play facility, so much for getting our kids outside for a more healthy lifestyle, take away the play areas and shove an X box in front of them, is that the way forward? I think not! Oik1

10:55am Fri 6 Dec 13

Davey Gravey says...

What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot.
We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation.
What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot. We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation. Davey Gravey

11:09am Fri 6 Dec 13

Ringer says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot.
We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation.
Bit of a shame it was your Labour lot who made this problem much, much worse.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot. We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation.[/p][/quote]Bit of a shame it was your Labour lot who made this problem much, much worse. Ringer

11:20am Fri 6 Dec 13

Davey Gravey says...

Ringer wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot.
We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation.
Bit of a shame it was your Labour lot who made this problem much, much worse.
Please don't start a political blame thing again. I have said repeatedly on this site that I am not pro Labour.
Blaming isn't going to solve the issue either is it. That's just going backwards.
[quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What a shame that feral kids have caused this decision. 12 year olds out in the early hours causing havoc says it all. Scum breeding scum. Unfit parents firing out more of their kind to run riot. We have to break this cycle for the benefit of the nation.[/p][/quote]Bit of a shame it was your Labour lot who made this problem much, much worse.[/p][/quote]Please don't start a political blame thing again. I have said repeatedly on this site that I am not pro Labour. Blaming isn't going to solve the issue either is it. That's just going backwards. Davey Gravey

11:41am Fri 6 Dec 13

Hmmmf says...

And yet should residents oppose the building of such things as play parks and skate parks on the grounds that they attract thuggery, drug abuse, and anti-social behaviour, others cry 'nimby' and claim no such problems exist. The fact is, those problems do exist, and the Council's solution, while probably the cheapest, is also the most gutless.
And yet should residents oppose the building of such things as play parks and skate parks on the grounds that they attract thuggery, drug abuse, and anti-social behaviour, others cry 'nimby' and claim no such problems exist. The fact is, those problems do exist, and the Council's solution, while probably the cheapest, is also the most gutless. Hmmmf

4:18pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Oldtownmum says...

Why not put high, gated, fencing around it and lock at dusk?
Why not put high, gated, fencing around it and lock at dusk? Oldtownmum

5:36pm Fri 6 Dec 13

trolley dolley says...

Local residents and local children know who these feral youths are and they are probably local as well.

The police have an impossible job trying to get evidence about any anti social behaviour in the area, it is there but the locals will not speak up.

A typical example is in the report itself.

The council are doing the right thing by removing the play area, if the local residents fully cooperated and gave out a few names someone could do something about it.
Local residents and local children know who these feral youths are and they are probably local as well. The police have an impossible job trying to get evidence about any anti social behaviour in the area, it is there but the locals will not speak up. A typical example is in the report itself. The council are doing the right thing by removing the play area, if the local residents fully cooperated and gave out a few names someone could do something about it. trolley dolley

9:17pm Fri 6 Dec 13

faatmaan says...

stinks of apathy, its a council area , who cares a ___ .
stinks of apathy, its a council area , who cares a ___ . faatmaan

9:21pm Fri 6 Dec 13

faatmaan says...

and wheres the serving tory councillor for this area, oh she lives in Wroughton. and has not lived in Walcot for over 20 years,
and wheres the serving tory councillor for this area, oh she lives in Wroughton. and has not lived in Walcot for over 20 years, faatmaan

4:14pm Sat 7 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

trolley dolley wrote:
Local residents and local children know who these feral youths are and they are probably local as well.

The police have an impossible job trying to get evidence about any anti social behaviour in the area, it is there but the locals will not speak up.

A typical example is in the report itself.

The council are doing the right thing by removing the play area, if the local residents fully cooperated and gave out a few names someone could do something about it.
Very good point, you cant convict on hearsay. If the locals are really concerned they need to name and shame, but are probably intimidated by the little scrotes who would come and take their revenge.

Also agree with Ringer on this one, as usual councils take the easy option rather that doing whats right and actually solve the problem. Rather like when they move out problem families, they don't solve the problem, they just make it someone elses mess to clear up. Its all about statistics and headlines rather than actually doing what we pay them to do!
[quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: Local residents and local children know who these feral youths are and they are probably local as well. The police have an impossible job trying to get evidence about any anti social behaviour in the area, it is there but the locals will not speak up. A typical example is in the report itself. The council are doing the right thing by removing the play area, if the local residents fully cooperated and gave out a few names someone could do something about it.[/p][/quote]Very good point, you cant convict on hearsay. If the locals are really concerned they need to name and shame, but are probably intimidated by the little scrotes who would come and take their revenge. Also agree with Ringer on this one, as usual councils take the easy option rather that doing whats right and actually solve the problem. Rather like when they move out problem families, they don't solve the problem, they just make it someone elses mess to clear up. Its all about statistics and headlines rather than actually doing what we pay them to do! house on the hill

5:13pm Sat 7 Dec 13

MrAngry says...

There used to be anti-social behaviour at the bus station. How long before they remove that too?
There used to be anti-social behaviour at the bus station. How long before they remove that too? MrAngry

7:36pm Sat 7 Dec 13

somwal25 says...

faatmaan wrote:
and wheres the serving tory councillor for this area, oh she lives in Wroughton. and has not lived in Walcot for over 20 years,
she was defeated at the last local elections nearly two years ago walcot now has three labour cllrs.
[quote][p][bold]faatmaan[/bold] wrote: and wheres the serving tory councillor for this area, oh she lives in Wroughton. and has not lived in Walcot for over 20 years,[/p][/quote]she was defeated at the last local elections nearly two years ago walcot now has three labour cllrs. somwal25

7:23pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Monty73 says...

Why not just flatten Walcot and just leave the play area.
Why not just flatten Walcot and just leave the play area. Monty73

10:26am Fri 13 Dec 13

the usually mr tolerant says...

Bring back the good old fashioned borstal's that would stop most of this anti social behaviour.
Bring back the good old fashioned borstal's that would stop most of this anti social behaviour. the usually mr tolerant

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