Action plan produced to tackle anti-social behaviour in park

AN action plan to improve a town park has been drawn up but residents are being warned it could be a long haul before it returns to its former glory.

Concerns have been raised following a spate of anti-social behaviour at Bishop Auckland Recreation Ground in recent months.

A meeting was held last week to discuss the problems and make plans to tackle the complaints, which have included underage drinking, smashed glass in the grass and litter

It was chaired by Andrew Walker, of Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP (AAP), and among those in attendance were Councillor Sam Zair, officers from Durham Police, firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, and representatives from a number of organisations, including Durham County Council.

Cllr Zair said: “It is going to be a long haul. There isn’t a quick solution to the problem. What has happened is we have brought it to the forefront of people’s minds.

“It isn’t just Bishop Auckland. The majority of parks have these sorts of problems. It has probably been left that little bit too long.

“There is a lot going on in this park for the children and we want them to be able to enjoy it without worrying about things like broken glass and anti-social behaviour.”

Improvement measures being put in place include funding for alcohol outreach workers, posters encouraging people to report problems, foot patrols and a lack of bins to be highlighted.

Cllr Zair added: “It has been acknowledged there is a problem which is not going away unless we do something. We cannot stop it altogether but we have started the ball rolling.”

He is keen to see an alcohol-free zone put in place in the future, a move he thinks will reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour and help the police.

Last year, the park underwent a £60,000 refurbishment, which saw improvements carried out to the tennis courts, bowling green, football pitch and play equipment.

Security shutters on the pavilion doors and windows were also installed.

The improvements were funded by Cllr Zair and the then Durham county councillor Neil Harrison through their neighbourhood budgets. It was also supported by the Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP.

The agencies and representatives will meet in September to see what progress has been made with reducing anti-social behaviour in the park.

Comments (4)

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9:47am Mon 18 Aug 14

Mamabear3 says...

Here's hoping that this is rolled out in all parks in Bishop Auckland! It definitely has been left too long!
Here's hoping that this is rolled out in all parks in Bishop Auckland! It definitely has been left too long! Mamabear3
  • Score: 4

11:30am Mon 18 Aug 14

stevegg says...

Its the youth culture of 'I can do whatever I want whenever I want and theres nothing you can do about it' coupled with cheap alcohol, binge drinking, societies failed decline in consequences for actions and zero discipline policies thats to blame. A substantial percentage of people 30 and under seriously belive they can do whatever they like with impunity and know, thanks to liberalisation enforced upon us, that the authorities are powerless to act i all but the most serious incidents. Unless there is some kind of permanent presence at the worst hours this will never get resolved!
Its the youth culture of 'I can do whatever I want whenever I want and theres nothing you can do about it' coupled with cheap alcohol, binge drinking, societies failed decline in consequences for actions and zero discipline policies thats to blame. A substantial percentage of people 30 and under seriously belive they can do whatever they like with impunity and know, thanks to liberalisation enforced upon us, that the authorities are powerless to act i all but the most serious incidents. Unless there is some kind of permanent presence at the worst hours this will never get resolved! stevegg
  • Score: 8

11:12am Tue 19 Aug 14

hippyjohn says...

why do i only see foot patrols on main streets and commercial areas.and never at night when most criminal acts happen?
why do i only see foot patrols on main streets and commercial areas.and never at night when most criminal acts happen? hippyjohn
  • Score: 1

11:11am Sat 23 Aug 14

foss says...

If there are no patrols to stop the anti social behaviour happening now, what difference will 'no alcohol' signs make if there's still nobody there to enforce it?
If there are no patrols to stop the anti social behaviour happening now, what difference will 'no alcohol' signs make if there's still nobody there to enforce it? foss
  • Score: 0

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