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Update on ASB issues around Duke Street park Including new higher gates and fencing

In March, a "community trigger" was announced in response to issues of anti-social behaviour around Duke Street Park.

Issues included young people using the cover of darkness to hide in the park before jumping over gates and causing disturbances to local residents including throwing stones and food at nearby houses.

Previously fireworks and bottles had been thrown at cars and houses on Duke Street, with teenagers hiding on the park side of the bushes before jumping through gaps and throwing objects.

Cllr Nina Killen met with residents and Sefton Council's anti-social behaviour officers to discuss the issues and possible solutions. The anti-social behaviour team agreed to instigate the community trigger to bring agencies together to discuss solutions.

Cllr Killen said: "Sefton's ASB officers held a meeting with the police, the Sefton parks team and schools in the area. The purpose was to identify what the key issues were and what could practically be done to address them. This was also to enable the team to develop a plan of action.”

"The first major outcome was that funding was to be sought to replace the park gates and make them taller to deter people from climbing over them.”

"The problem from an ASB perspective was that in order to utilise the laws and powers that are available, the police and council need to be able to identify the perpetrators. The council has no powers to stop and challenge people to identify themselves. Even the police can only do this in limited circumstances, although of course they do this, and the Formby neighbourhood PCs are very proactive in engaging with young people and trying to discourage problem behaviour. This is not just at Duke St park but in other areas such as near the PDC on the Park Road estate.”

"I am pleased to say that as I understand it the Community Safety Fund will cover the cost for the new gates at Duke Street park.”

"A street lighting column was considered near the play area so that there was no cover of darkness, but park rangers felt it would have a negative effect on wildlife. With the higher gates in place this should be less of an issue in that area.”

"There will also be an ASB project delivered at our two high schools from September, to try to educate young people about the consequences of their behaviour and how communities are affected. Both schools are fully on board.”

"Thank you to Formby Parish Council for offering to look at installing fencing behind the bushes alongside Duke Street. This is to address young people running through the bushes on to the road where they have been known to throw objects including fireworks and bottles at homes and cars.”

"There will also be some diversionary activities in the park this summer on Saturday nights, starting July 23, from 5-7pm for eight weeks. To take part you just turn up at Duke Street park, no need to book. It's for ages 11-16.

"I am really pleased to see the action that has been taken and I particularly would like to thank the neighbourhoods team at Sefton Council for working so hard on all these interventions for the benefit of the people of Formby."

PIC: Cllr Nina Killen at one of the sets of gates that will be replaced



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