Park vandalism halved by scheme

VANDALISM has been halved in parks in a part of Essex over the past two years thanks to the introduction of safety staff.The fall comes as a new report reveals more than a third of children (34%) feel unsafe using Britain's parks some or all of the time.

VANDALISM has been halved in parks in a part of Essex over the past two years thanks to the introduction of safety staff.

The fall comes as a new report reveals more than a third of children (34%) feel unsafe using Britain's parks some or all of the time.

Over the last few years, Maldon District Council's park rangers and staff have been working with local police and schools to try to reduce vandalism and anti-social behaviour on areas of open space in the district.

And the initiative has been heralded a success as major incidents have decreased by as much as 50% in some areas.


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A council spokesman said it had been achieved by employing many strategies including regular ranger patrols, discussing issues and problems with visitors and dog walkers, work experience schemes with schools and employing regular parks staff on sites rather than visiting crews.

Tom Kelly, vice chairman of the council's community services committee, said: “We are pleased that progress is being made in dealing with vandalism and anti-social behaviour. The partnerships being formed, together with excellent public co-operation are now beginning to deliver results.”

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In the survey, commissioned by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe), three-quarters of youngsters (76%) said they would feel safer if parks were properly staffed with park keepers.

Gangs, bullies and drunken youths were among the reasons given by children for feeling unsafe.

Now Cabe is calling for every urban park in England to have dedicated staff present on site during daylight hours.

Cabe states that only a quarter of English parks are currently staffed throughout the day.

n PARKS in Maldon, Chelmsford and Colchester are among those to recently gain “green flags” - a sign of quality for open spaces.

Admirals Park and Tower Gardens, Beaulieu Park, Chelmer Park and Oaklands Park in Chelmsford received the accolade, while in Maldon Oak Tree Meadow and Promenade Park were recognised.

Gaining green flags in Colchester were Castle Park and High Woods County Park

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