Youths “banned” from park following spate of vandalism

Following a report in our September magazine that thousands of pounds of malicious damage had been caused to sport and leisure equipment in Meade Park, the Journal can reveal that six young people suspected of being involved have effectively been banned from the park.

Photo of a vandalised picnic table and bench.
Vandalised picnic table and bench in Meade Park.

Speaking at a meeting of Stoke Gifford Parish Council in early September, Cllr Ernie Brown said the cost of repairing the damage at Meade Park and the Trust Ground was put at between £5,000 and £6,000. He also reported that an individual who is thought to have been responsible for “most” of the damage in Meade Park had been “caught” by the neighbourhood police team and that this person had been “banned from the park for six months”.

According to the parish council, the items damaged (with repair costs) in Meade Park have included a table tennis table (£1,488), a picnic bench (£169) and a timber structure (£200). At the Trust Ground, a rocket swing (£350) was vandalised, while a damaged bus shelter on Kingsway in Little Stoke had to be replaced at a cost of £4,215.

Responding to an enquiry from the Journal, a police spokesperson said:

“Neighbourhood police have been working with South Gloucestershire Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team to tackle issues in Meade Park over the summer.”

“Officers carried out uniformed and plain-clothed patrols of the park following reports of ASB, including damage to a table tennis table.”

“Around a dozen young people aged between 13 and 16 have been identified as being present when the problems were happening.”

“The council’s ASB team has drawn up acceptable behaviour contracts for six teenagers which include not going to the park. Another five teenagers have been sent warning letters by the council.”

Police have interviewed a 15-year-old boy in connection with damage to the table tennis table and the Youth Offending Team will make a decision on how he will be dealt with.

The spokesperson added:

“Neighbourhood police and the council urge parents and carers to talk to their teenagers about the impact of ASB on our communities and the consequences of being involved. Parents and carers should also make sure they know where their children are and who they’re with, to help to keep them safe.”

Patrols of the park are continuing. Anti-social behaviour can be reported to the police or the council – find out more at (police) or (council).

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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