Police increase patrols around Peterborough’s Central Park after resident’s picture shows late night gathering

Cambridgeshire Police say that they have increased patrols around Central Park in Peterborough after residents reported an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 7:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 10:53 am
This picture was taken by a a resident in Central Park on Monday night.

A picture that was posted on social media on Monday (November 1) by a Princes Street resident showed a gathering of people in the park.

The picture, taken late at night, appeared to show a large group of people meeting in the park and was accompanied by reports of alleged drug dealing, threats being made to passers-by and the setting off of fireworks.

The resident said: “This sort of thing happens every single night.

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“I was in the park on Monday night and saw around 30 people gathered there and last weekend it was around 40, they seem to think the rule of six doesn’t apply to them.

“I know many joggers and other residents who avoid the area in the evenings and go around the outside of the park instead.

“The whole situation is an absolute nightmare, something needs to be done and quick.

“There’s primary schools, secondary schools and colleges nearby, all full of children who use the park.

“We’ve all heard the reports of people being attacked in the area and of grooming taking place there. I’ve tried to report incidents to the Police and have either struggled to get a response from the online chat or just been given a crime reference number and not heard anything more about it.

“It’s no good them or councillors holding walk-arounds during the day, it’s the evening when the problems occur.

“The area is definitely not safe and I think there needs to be more patrols.”

Police have sought to reassure residents they are dealing with the issues and have asked for their cooperation in solving the problem.

A police spokesperson said: “We are aware of recent reports of antisocial behaviour in the Park Road area.

“We are working closely with partner agencies to manage the issue and have increased local neighbourhood patrols as a result.

“This particularly involves targeting areas where breaches of Covid regulations have been reported.

“We understand the concerns from local residents and we ask the public to continue to report any information they have about anti-social behaviour to us. The more information we have, the better picture we can build and the more efficient we can be at targeting those responsible.

“Anyone who sees or experiences anti-social behaviour is urged to report this online via www.cambs.police.uk/report or by calling 101.”

Labour Group Leader and Park Ward Councillor, Shaz Nawaz has also recognised that more needs to be done.

He said: “The issue of antisocial behaviour has been brought to my attention on a number of occasions.

“We did previously arrange a public meeting with the police and council officers and I’m pleased that went well.

“My colleagues and I are in regular contact with PCSO officers and I must say they have been extremely helpful. I know there have been gangs gathering at Central Park during the last few weeks.

“My colleagues and I have been in contact with PCSOs, the police and council officers about this particular issue. I know the number of patrols has increased. I think this is important because not only will this deter gangs but it will also give people a sense of security.

“I am under no illusion that a lot more needs to be done to address antisocial behaviour and we will continue to work with residents and various agencies until we are able to sufficiently control and eliminate the issues currently faced in and around Central Park.”

Former Council Leedar and Park Ward Councillor John Peach added: “I have had a number of reports of problems surrounding Central Park not just in the Park but also in the general area. Certainly residents of All Saints Road have recently been troubled by youths hanging around at the Park Road end. I don’t know if people have just been displaced from the Millfield area as they now have more Covid patrols in the area.

“I continually report problems to the local police and let a number of local schools know when I have reports of alleged drug deals in their vicinity. I’m also a member of Friends of Central Park who when we could have meetings always asked the local PCSO along to update her on reports of crime and antisocial behaviour.

“I would urge anybody who witnesses problems however minor to report it to the police or myself on [email protected], as even if it is minor trouble it does give the police force a picture of what is going on locally and often as the police say themselves if people don’t report problems they are not always aware they are happening.”