Extra steps are being taken to curb anti-social drinking and littering in Wisbech Park, following complaints from local residents about poor behaviour and alcohol-related rubbish.
Officers from Fenland District Council and police spent four hours in the park, talking to park users and distributing a questionnaire aimed at gauging their views on a range of issues, including street drinking, noise and litter.
They were accompanied by Nicola Fenton, engagement officer for Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright.
Cllr David Oliver, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for community safety and chairman of Fenland’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP), said: “We wanted to listen to people’s concerns and reassure them that we are doing all we can to tackle them.
“We know there are occasional problems with litter and drinking and unfortunately these get highlighted on social media. This gives a very misleading impression. The fact is that for the vast majority of the time this is a nice, clean park that is safe for everyone to enjoy.
“Nevertheless, we are always looking at ways that we can make things better.”
Actions already put in place include more frequent patrols by the police and Fenland District Council’s Streetscene officers. Trees and shrubs have also been cut back to make it easier for the CCTV team to spot any antisocial behaviour.
The council will also be putting in extra bins for a temporary period over this summer when more people use the park. More high-visibility signs about anti-social drinking and littering may also be introduced in hotspot areas around Fenland.
Cllr Oliver said much was already being done. Council officers toured the park twice a day throughout the week and now visited on Saturdays, too. The main areas were monitored by CCTV, with any incidents caught on camera being reported immediately to police or other emergency or council services.
One resident from York Road dismissed complaints about widespread rubbish and bad behaviour. He said: “I have lived here since 1967 and walk through the park every day and it’s lovely. It’s nonsense what some people have been saying.”