Saturday, August 12, 2006

Yobs fail to heed stark warnings

Teen hooligans are causing so many problems at a park in Great Britain that the local police have gone to the drastic measure of issuing "stark warnings" that they will notify their parents the next time they are caught. Apparently if this is not enough to curb the yobs "anti-social" behavior, then they may need to hire a park ranger to patrol the park.

Yobs turn park into booze and drugs den (News & Star)

Workington's Vulcan Park has become a haven for underage drinkers, drug-takers and yobs over the school holidays. Police have received complaints about teenagers drinking, fighting, urinating and littering the area with broken bottles. Some park users have also reported discarded needles in the park.

Police have launched an operation to crack down on the problems before they get out of hand. Officers have confiscated alcohol from young people almost every night this week. And they are issuing a stark warning to under-age drinkers that if they'’re caught, their parents will be informed.

Sergeant Jason Robinson said the police are operating a three-strikes-and-youĂ‚’re-out approach. He told the News & Star: "“If they're 16 or above, we can deal them with a penalty notice for disorder. If they're below 16, we'’ll take them home and speak to their parents and they will go onto an anti-social behaviour register. “If they get three hits on that within a month then they will get a visit at home by myself or the inspector and we could consider an anti-social behaviour contract. “This can impact on where they'’re allowed to go and who they'’re allowed to hang about with." He said that targeting Vulcan Park is part of Operation Beehive an operation designed specifically to tackle anti-social behaviour and youth disorder. Areas such as the bus depot and hotspots in Seaton and Moorclose are also being monitored under this banner.

Sgt Robinson added: "“Historically the holidays are always a problem time for Vulcan Park for under-age drinking and people taking drugs like cannabis. This is a pre-emptive strike, which has worked to stop some of the disorder."

Keith Southward, who lives on nearby Park Lane, often witnesses underage drinking. He said: "“I have seen young ones who have had too much to drink urinating against a tree." He added that he would not park his car on his own street because vehicles there have had windows smashed.

Pat Hull, of Moss Bay, regularly takes her grandchildren to the park, which is open 24 hours a day. She said: "In the early morning there are bottles and litter around the war memorial. There are bins but the children ignore them. “I would not walk through there at night time. “It is a lovely park, I think it is great for the children but they have to come in at a certain time. “I have seen needles and bottles. “It is sad because it is a children'’s play park."”

A spokesperson for Allerdale Council said the authority was aware of the problems in the park. She said: "The council clean up such vandalism, litter and filth in the park on a daily basis, generally before the public sees the full extent of the mess."

She added that the council is considering employing a park ranger to try to tackle the situation.

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