Lockdown flouters rip down fence to let children use play area at Stoke-on-Trent park


Rule-breaking parents are breaching lockdown restrictions to let their children use a play area at a popular park – by pulling down a metal fence.

Part of the fencing was ripped out twice in three days at Bucknall Park over the weekend.

It follows previous complaints about children being lifted over the fence to use the playground.

Other issues include drug-dealing, litter and shattered glass.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council closed the playground to the public before the start of the Government lockdown. The damaged fence has now been permanently repaired.

Friends of Bucknall Park chairman Mike Pennington said: “There are some people who are ignoring the play area’s quarantine rules. The play area is locked and chained and even has a notice on it. But people are lifting their children over the fence and letting them play, people just don’t care.

“Deliberately breaking into a quarantined area is a step too far. The park was packed over the weekend and people were totally ignoring the rules.

“They are not taking this situation seriously enough. We have a lot of people who do keep their distance and everything.

“But it seems to be people with young children. I appreciate young children can be hard to control but to put your children in danger by putting them in what could be an infected area is the height of stupidity.”

If you’re on the lookout for local news, we have you covered with our FREE email newsletter – sign up in the box at the top of this story or click here.

The group paid out £2,500 for the fence.

It has enough money to install CCTV at the facility. But it will cost the council a further £21,000 to connect the cameras to its control room which means the project has not progressed.

Mr Pennington added: “Every time we try to do something with CCTV we hit a problem. We have been trying to get CCTV installed to cover that area because an awful lot of stuff goes on there.

“At the moment youths go in there, know it’s open territory and think they can do what they like. I know CCTV isn’t a wonderful solution but at least it is a deterrent.

StokeonTrentLive has created a dedicated group on Facebook for COVID 19 (coronavirus) updates. Join for sensible, accurate and informed updates –  click here.

“We tried locking the park gates to stop vehicles getting in after dark. But the lady who did that had to stop doing it because of the abuse she was getting.

“It would only take the CCTV to capture two or three people and them being prosecuted and I think that would make a big difference.

Top stories on StokeonTrentLive

“The community is really fed up with what is going on and for the sake of the local community something has got to happen, I can’t see another solution.”

Lockdown flouters have also been reported at Hanley Park, Longton Park, Tunstall Park and Westport Lake. The locks have also been repeatedly smashed off the play area at the play area, off Brakespeare Street, in Goldenhill.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “It’s really disappointing that someone would do something like this. If anyone has any information about the damage in Bucknall Park I would encourage them to come forward.”

Anyone with any information about the vandalism should call Staffordshire Police on 101.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *