Vandalism concerns for Westbourne play park


A CHILDREN’S play park in Westbourne has been turned into a ‘dumping ground’ because of vandalism and antisocial behaviour.

Park benches have been burnt out, glass bottles left smashed and persistent graffiti has made Mill Road park unsuitable for the children and young families who used to frequently use it.

Nigel Ricketts, Westbourne Parish Council chairman of recreation, leisure and amenities, is calling for more help from police to deal with the growing problem.

He said: “We have two parks in Westbourne and most of the problems have been at Mill Road, since the turn of the year it’s been turned into a dumping ground.

“On Sunday, July 12, two of the bins were tipped everywhere and bottles were smashed in the playground.

“We’ve also had a problem with horses being kept in the park and being raced through the village and there was mess left everywhere as well. We’ve invested in a sign saying ‘no horses’ but that doesn’t seem to have made any real difference.”

“We have a very good PCSO, Colin Booker, and a superb policeman Andy, and Colin came out and spoke to some individuals which hopefully will help.

“But when the two of them aren’t on duty, we seem to have to deal with the problems on our own, there just doesn’t seem to be enough police resources.

“This is an ongoing issue and if we don’t get greater support, we’ll never get rid of these issues.”

Mr Ricketts and other Westbourne parish councillors helped design the play park with the help of local schoolchildren and he says the whole village is becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of action.