Don’t use parks for lawbreaking

Stanley Park view - the italian gardens

Stanley Park view - the italian gardens

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POLICE are clamping down on youths using Blackpool beauty spots as drink and drug hide-outs.

Residents around Stanley Park and Lawson’s Field have complained of teenagers racing around on mopeds, drinking booze and smoking cannabis during evenings and weekends.

Mary Naylor, Marton neighbourhood watch coordinator and crime officer, said: “Some of them are as young as 13.

“We are having a lot of problems with kids on mopeds – it’s a danger to residents walking on Lawson’s Field and a nuisance with the noise. Because Lawson’s Field is common land, people think they are allowed to ride on there, but they’re breaking the law. A big problem is also drinking and smoking. Stanley Park and Lawson’s Field is a magnet for young people. As these youngsters get older they will realise what beautiful places they are but at the moment, they only appreciate them for drinking and mucking about. They are thoughtless.

“It’s upsetting for the elderly people around here. I get phone calls weekly about it.”

Officers from the neighbourhood police team have been carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and have used stop and search powers when they have suspected drug use.

Youth referral forms have been issued, alcohol seized and warnings given over cannabis.

Mrs Naylor added: “Our policing team is brilliant. It’s an ongoing thing that we are aware of. As soon as the police see anything going on, they confiscate the booze. They appreciate it if anyone contacts them about a group congregating where they shouldn’t.

“Marton is a lovely place to live – all that’s lacking is a community centre.”

The area was plagued by metal thieves over the summer with three lead based figures stolen from The Italian Gardens in Stanley Park at the end of July.

Now it seems thieves have turned to residents’ gardens.

Mrs Naylor added: “There were three houses affected by thefts of garden ornaments last weekend on Lancaster Road. They are stealing anything now.”

Police said high visibility patrols are helping to reduce the problems. Marton Police Community Support Officer Aneta Turner said: “We get groups of teenagers drinking alcohol and problems with cannabis and mopeds. It’s sporadic.

“We have got four PCSOs in the park so we are always high visibility. We give out youth referral forms which go to the parents of the child and the school so they know what they have done.

“We are doing as much as we can. Disruption tactics and high visibility patrols are proving successful.”