Supporters of award-winning Central Park say two high-profile incidents last week should not deter people from visiting

Central Park remains a safe place despite two high-profile incidents last week, according to a supporter of the park.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 9:23 am

Tony Forster, chair of Friends of Central Park, was reacting to a brawl last Friday evening involving around 20 girls, as well as vandalism of the park’s benches the following day.

Peterborough resident Ilona Iloniuk posted a video of the brawl on Facebook and said her teenage daughter had been attacked and injured.

The video has now gone viral with thousands of people viewing it.

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Vandalism in Central Park EMN-170905-103524009

Ilona told the Peterborough Telegraph: “My daughter said she doesn’t want to fight, but the girl behind her pulled her hair and threw her to the ground.

“Seven girls started jumping on my daughter, punching her and kicking her for nothing.”

Ilona’s daughter managed to escape and the group dispersed.

The following day a saw was taken to park benches, marking a return of vandalism to the city’s green spaces after several were targeted more than two months ago.

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But Mr Forster described having two incidents so close together as a “coincidence,” while highlighting that the vandal is not just damaging Central Park.

He said: “He seems to be targeting green spaces for reasons which escape me, but it certainly is not something which means the park is unsafe. It just means there’s some idiot with a saw who has been to lots of places.

“The incident of girls fighting in the park is worrying. People get together in open spaces and on this occasion they decided to meet in the park.

“It’s unfortunate we’ve had the two incidents as we have lots of positive things we are working on.

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“We are planning a junior park run for four to 14-year-olds.”

A police spokesperson said: “We’re investigating reports of an assault on two teenage girls. Anyone with information should call 101.”

A spokesperson for Amey, which manages Central Park, said: “The damaged furniture was immediately made safe and fenced off to ensure the safety of the public.

“Repairs to the furniture have been arranged as a matter of priority.”

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The video of the brawl can be viewed at www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk.

Vandalism in Central Park EMN-170905-103511009
Vandalism in Central Park EMN-170905-103554009