Park yob problem is ‘going to get worse’

Alfred Rose Park
Alfred Rose Park

Antisocial behaviour in a town park is on the rise after council chiefs put a stop to locking the gates at night.

Aylesbury Vale District Council decided to make the change at Alfred Rose Park in October last year, after a man was impaled on railings.

The council says that the move saves money and gives people a vital route to and from the town centre.

But residents, councillors and the police say that antisocial behaviour has become a problem and is making the area dangerous.

Wolfe Molder, who runs the Elmhurst Youth Project claimed the park has now become a late-night hotspot for young people, who swear, drink and commit vandalism into the early hours of the morning.

He said: “We think it’s going to get worse.

“They are playing football in the car park and there are more than 20 of them, it starts about 11.30pm and I have heard it as late at 1.30am.

“One of my neighbours even heard it at 3am.

“It is getting really terrible now, because of the weather everyone has to keep their windows open.

“I also think they are trying their best to wreck the facilities, because the swings are twisted up around the chains and there is always rubbish.

“We are being pushed from pillar to post between the police and the council.

“The police have even asked us is we can go out and see what’s going on, but we wouldn’t do that because it would be dangerous.

“We have had some contact with our local PCSOs and they have told us to keep calling and keep the pressure up.”

Police confirmed reports of antisocial behaviour in the area have increased since the new policy came in.

Councillor Raj Khan, who has lobbied portfolio holder Howard Mordue to have a rethink on the policy, said: “The people of Elmhurst are suffering for the decisions of councillors who do not even live in Aylesbury.

“This is an absolute afront to any justification and makes me very angry.

“No taxpayer should have to put up with this and I would rather see taxpayers money spent on keeping people safe, than things like the Waterside Theatre.

“I am working with the people to do something about it but the council is just giving us lip service.”

Councillor Howard Mordue, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We will review it at the end of the summer, we have had no complaints from the police about antisocial behaviour there.

“We know there have been problems because I have spoken to residents, but our officers have no powers to evict or imprison people, that is better left to the police.

“I have sympathy for residents but I have to think about AVDC’s position too.”