Crackdown on park problems

Neighbourhood Beat Manager Pc Paul Mckenzie and North Tyneside Council park warden Fiona Betts at Churchill Playing Fields.

Neighbourhood Beat Manager Pc Paul Mckenzie and North Tyneside Council park warden Fiona Betts at Churchill Playing Fields.

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Police are increasing patrols to tackle disorder problems at a Whitley Bay park.

Officers will have a greater presence to target anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in and around Churchill playing fields following an increase in calls from residents.

We have been listening closely to the concerns of local people and speaking to our partners at North Tyneside Council to do all we can to improve matters

Pc Paul Mckenzie, of Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Policing Team

Neighbourhood officers wearing body cameras are carrying out patrols and will also be able to film evidence at incidents they attend, which can then be used to bring offenders to court.

Officers are also working closely with residents and North Tyneside Council, with a public meeting held to discuss the issues and come up with an action plan.

Now additional signage is going up in the park to make visitors aware that extra police are patrolling and CCTV cameras have been installed.

Pc Paul Mckenzie, of Whitley Bay neighbourhood policing team, said: “We have been listening closely to the concerns of local people and speaking to our partners at North Tyneside Council to do all we can to improve matters.

“We hope the public will notice these measures and feel reassured by this response.

“We also want to remind people to report any ASB they may see to police so we can take further action.”

Officers will also deal with any underage drinking in the park by confiscating alcohol and pouring it away and parents will also be informed that their child was found with alcohol by officers.

A dispersal order has been granted in the area, this means anyone involved in anti-social behaviour will be asked to leave, and if necessary further action will be taken against them. The order runs for 48 hours and is reviewed on an on-going basis.

Anti-social behaviour and reducing crime are both priorities of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird’s Police and Crime Plan.

Mrs Baird said: “Our public parks and outdoor spaces are places people should enjoy visiting especially during the better weather and we want to make sure people feel safe doing so.

“This partnership approach to dealing with ASB rightly shows the priority police and North Tyneside Council place on effectively tackling these issues.

“I’d encourage people to get in touch with police if they have any concerns about ASB in their area.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We know our residents want to feel safe in their neighbourhoods and leisure areas and we are working closely with our Northumbria Police colleagues to ensure that they remain places that everyone can continue to enjoy.”

Anyone with concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour in their area can contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 ext 69191.