Appeal for witnesses after vandalism in parks

Public Parks Spoiled by Vandals

Horden Parish Council is appealing for witnesses after a series of incidents in their Welfare and Memorial Parks. A three month spate of anti-social behaviour has left flowerbeds ruined, staff threatened and members of the public intimidated.

Recent incidents have included motorbikes being driven through the Welfare Park, gangs of youths being abusive and threatening to staff, fly tipping, play areas being damaged, flowerbeds being destroyed and even a report of indecent behaviour witnessed by members of the public.

The parish council have previously raised these issues with the police, but due to their limited resources, these incidents are still unresolved.

Councillors have considered the provision of CCTV in the Welfare Park in order to combat further incidents over the last few months and suppliers have been contacted over the last two months for installation options with a decision expected in July.

Horden’s fenced off play areas recently became subject to Public Space Protection Orders implemented by Durham County Council from 1st June.

The order will enable the County Council to issue £100 fixed penalty notices to anyone allowing their dog in a designated play area for children. The order also makes it an offence not to pick up after your dog has fouled and fail to put your dog on a lead if requested by council staff.

Paul Davison, the Clerk to the Council said, “Horden’s award winning Welfare and Memorial Parks are exceptional recreational facilities available in our village. We spend considerable resources and staff work extremely hard in order to keep the parks to the highest standard that our residents have come to expect.”

“It is very disheartening to see that not all members of the public seek to enjoy the park for its intended purpose and spoil it for everyone else.”

“The parish council have been considering CCTV for the Welfare Park which will enable us to pass on any evidence to the police. We will do all that we can to prevent further instances of anti-social behaviour and we will take action where we have the evidence.”

“In order to help keep your parks clean, tidy and safe, we would ask members of the public to help us by contacting the police if they witness any anti-social behaviour so that together we keep Horden’s green spaces a clean, calm and tranquil environment that people of all ages can enjoy”.

If anyone has any further information on any incidents occurring in the parks, please contact Durham Constabulary on 101.