READER LETTER: 'Town's park causes headaches for neighbours'
PUBLISHED: 16:53 26 June 2018
I am writing in response to Michelle Banville's letter (North Norfolk News, June 21) in connection with the anti-social behaviour in the Memorial Park North Walsham. Michelle's report was one-sided and didn't take into account the residents who suffer continually with this problem.
Extremely loud noise occurs during the week and over the weekend and late into the night by up to 12-30 youths aged between 14-18 who are a mixture of male and females.
We have made representations to North Walsham Town Council to encourage them to close the park again at night and try to engage with them.
Every morning the North Walsham Town Council groundsmen - three usually - spend substantial time collecting endless rubbish which includes – drug deposits, glass alcohol bottles, take-away containers, drink containers, crisp packets and other residue.
Recently two large sofas were transported into the park for by the youths to sit on and smash up.
We endure loud music from a blue tooth speaker, drinking, shouting, screaming, foul language, footballs continually hitting our fences and deliberately aimed, smoking weed and other drug taking along with urination.
Rubbish is also thrown into our gardens.
The group jump our fences and cause damage in order to retrieve their ball and have little and no respect for anyone.
Other users of the park are intimidated by these groups and on numerous occasions residents clear up the park after they have left.
Unless you live with this problem it is difficult to appreciate how it effects and takes a toll on your daily life.
The residents along this side of the park are unable to leave their windows open at night or even in the day and our gardens are unusable with this anti-social behaviour and the constant waft of numerous youths smoking their drugs – which can take up a whole day and evening and sometimes starts at 10.30am on a Sunday morning!
The recent Snap meeting between the police and the town council has ensured the Memorial Park was a high policing priority.
However, this also means frequent calls by residents to the 101 number.
None of the residents want to call the police but there is no other source of action.
This anti-social behaviour impedes the use of the park by other users and we feel that this matter must be addressed.
Four householders attended the town council meeting in May 2018 and have asked that the park be closed again as it is not being correctly used by these youths but totally abused.
The police are constantly being called to incidents at the Memorial Park and recently a member of the public was threatened by the youths as they would not return their ball.
We are urging the town council to revert back to closing the park as they previously did and for it to be monitored more closely.
These are services which we the householders pay for via our precept to the town council who are extremely keen to increase it by substantial amounts year on year but do not listen to the people who pay.
It’s easy to say: “there is nothing for us to do”. There are plenty of community initiatives and clubs which youths can get involved in and be part of.
We need to take a zero-tolerance approach on this matter before it escalates out of control.