'You are part of the solution': Youths praised for joining meeting to tackle problems at East Pines Park

Around 70 people turned up to a meeting to discuss recent problems at East Pines Park
Around 70 people turned up to a meeting to discuss recent problems at East Pines Park
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A group of young people have been praised for taking part in a public meeting aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour in a Blackpool park.

Police and community leaders hailed the positive meeting, as around 70 people turned up to discuss problems at East Pines Park, in Anchorsholme.

After some residents had voiced their anger over issues in recent weeks - which included one councillor saying he had been 'threatened and sworn at' - a number of youths were invited in to take part in the discussion.

Insp Pete Hannon, of Blackpool Police, said the youngsters deserved a 'round of applause' for taking part.

He added: "Breaking down those barriers and getting kids in front of residents really worked.

"Getting them involved had a big effect."

And Coun Paul Galley, chairman of the Friends of East Pines Park, said: "It was a very good meeting in the sense that everyone came together.

"Maximum respect to the kids for coming in - that was really important.

"Part of this is saying to them 'we need you on board - you are very much part of the solution'.

"One of the biggest groups to suffer (from the anti-social behaviour) is teenagers."

Regular meetings will now take place to work on resolving issues, with the aim of getting young people more involved in the park, such as by providing shelter and sporting activities.

Meanwhile police say they will continue to patrol regularly and take action where necessary, with a number of children and their parents spoken to recently in connection with reports of anti-social behaviour.

Any sports groups interested in running coaching sessions in the park for young people, who have expressed a particularl interest in boxing, are asked to contact Coun Galley on (01253) 826679 or by emailing cllr.paul.galley@blackpool.gov.uk