Calls for Parks Police in Mayesbrook
FAMILIES living near Mayesbrook Park are concerned by the lack of Parks Police and say youths on motorbikes are terrorising visitors and geese. Apparently there have been fewer patrols of the prize-winning green space in recent weeks and residents claim a
FAMILIES living near Mayesbrook Park are concerned by the lack of Parks Police and say youths on motorbikes are terrorising visitors and geese.
Apparently there have been fewer patrols of the prize-winning green space in recent weeks and residents claim anti-social behaviour, which was once stamped out, is occurring again.
Mayesbrook Park was awarded �400,000 this year in Mayor Boris Johnson's Help a London Park campaign.
Paul Moore, of Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, said: "I heard screaming from my house last weekend so I looked out my window to see what was going on.
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"There was a gang of youths riding a motorbike around the park like maniacs.
"They were all taking turns on the bike, which looked like a scrambler, and they were chasing walkers and geese.
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"It was shocking behaviour and I called the police immediately.
"Unfortunately they couldn't send anyone because it wasn't a high priority crime.
"That's why we need the Parks Police, they do a fantastic job."
In June, Barking and Dagenham Council's executive agreed to slash the budget of Parks Police from �700,000 to just �570,000.
This was despite a report presented to the cabinet noting that it was a popular service with residents, and that Parks Police were credited for virtually removing illegal parking and motorcycle activity from Mayesbrook Park.
However the service has managed to raise some money through donations and other outside funding.
The problem of youths using motorbikes in parks was voiced at a Mayesbrook Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting on Wednesday, last week.
Sergeant John Kerr has agreed to look into what can be done to tackle the issue.
A council spokesperson said: "The council's Safer Parks team consists of nine officers who cover 10 parks across the borough. Their main responsibility is to provide reassurance and support to park users and to assist the police in any way they can.
"However, on occasions they are required to intervene and diffuse difficult situations. We have every confidence that they can do this.
"If there are community safety concerns or issues in any of the borough's parks, these should be reported to the relevant Safer Neighbourhoods Team.