WISBECH police chief Andy Sullivan has hit back at claims in the national press that officers are too scared to go to the controversial Waterlees play area after dark.
It was claimed that Insp Sullivan said officers would not attend the park after 8pm because of a lack of lighting.
However, Insp Sullivan has released a statement denying this.
He said: “I would like to set the record straight following recent media coverage of comments I made about police patrols in Waterlees Park.
“Firstly, I would like to make it clear that my comments have been taken completely out of context. I never said that the park is a ‘no-go’ area for my officers. We will always police all parts of Wisbech and respond positively to local policing needs.
“At a recent council meeting we discussed the ongoing work by the police and local authority to tackle the anti-social behaviour problem in the park. We also discussed options for CCTV and lighting that could help us identify offenders and also act as a deterrent to anyone considering anti-social behaviour there.
“The park has its own security guard in place from 8pm every night. However, if we are contacted about a problem there, then of course we will provide a police response, as you would expect us to.
“As many of you are aware we have been tackling ongoing problems at the park for some months. In fact anti-social behaviour at the park was adopted as a neighbourhood policing priority. This resulted in an increase in patrols and working with the local authority to establish further security options.
“There have been several incidents of criminal damage at the park, one of which caused £6,000 worth of damage and one person has been charged in connection with this incident.
“My officers will continue to patrol the area and deal with anti-social behaviour as we would in any other area of Wisbech.”
The £880,000 Cambs County Council-led project has its own private security guard who provides night and weekend cover.
A council spokesperson said the security guard has not reported any problems at the site and added: “The adventure playground is closed at 8pm every night by a private security company under contract from Cambs County Council. The company patrols the site to ensure no one is left on the site before locking the gates.
“Now that the site is completed, the private security company patrols the site each evening and provides night time cover at weekends, as agreed with local police.”