A variety of measures will be introduced to deal with ongoing issues of vandalism, damage and antisocial behaviour in Denton’s Victoria Park, following a meeting convened by Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, on Friday 24th January.
Gwynne was joined by representatives from Tameside Council, Greater Manchester Police, Denton Park Bowling and Social Club and Denton North East Councillors Vincent Ricci and Allison Gwynne. Councillor Denise Ward was unable to attend due to work commitments but fully supports the action.
At the meeting it was agreed that police patrols will be increased, the park gates will be locked at night, in the short-term a security company will be brought in, the houses surrounding the park will be letter dropped asking for confidential information, local schools will be visited by the police about the park issues and outreach youth workers will engage with local young people in and around the park.
The group will also look at how park facilities can be improved going forward and the Friends of Victoria Park group will be reconstituted.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“It was great to get all the agencies around the table to draw up a plan to tackle the issues in Victoria Park.
“The clear message is this area is for the town. It’s our jewel and we won’t allow it to be ruined by a small number of vandals.
“As well as the security measures, and policing, we are looking jointly at how we can improve the park’s facilities.
“If anybody is interested in joining the Friends of Victoria Park, a group we are re-establishing, then please contact my office at Denton Town Hall: GwynneA@parliament.uk / 0161 320 1504.”
Councillor Denise Ward, speaking on behalf of her fellow Denton North East councillors Vincent Ricci and Allison Gwynne, said:
“We will continue working with our partners, police neighbour teams, our MP Andrew Gwynne, Tameside Council and our wonderful volunteers to make Denton a nice and safe place to live.
“We will be a strong voice for our community and work to bring this small group engaged in vandalism and antisocial behaviour to account.”
Nick Sayers, Head of Operations and Greenspace at Tameside Council, said:
“A number of positive actions were agreed with the Police and Council and I’m confident that with the joint working between all parties we will deal with the recent spate of anti-social behaviour and the Park will continue to be a fantastic place for our communities to enjoy”
Jane Higham of Greater Manchester Police said:
“In response to the recent antisocial behaviour and arson incidents at Victoria Park, there was a productive meeting on Friday between police, the local council and members of the local community to agree short and long term plans to prevent any further incidents.
“It is vital to protect our outdoor spaces and ensure they are safe for everyone to enjoy and we are committed to that cause. We have increased both police and council resources in the area as well as visiting local schools to ensure we are reaching some of the young people responsible.
“Please contact the police or Crimestoppers if you have any information that can help us identify those responsible.”
Denton Park Social Bowling Club Chair John Pyne and Secretary Tony Moran have put out a statement:
“We are pleased to be a part of this positive initiative. Plans immediately put in place to combat the current issues have proved to have been effective, with an agreed permanent long term solution.
“We are also feeling confident about implementing the Clubs Bowling in the Community 2020 program including the introduction of French Boules “Petanque” – a first in Tameside.”