Measures in place to deal with hooligans

A PLAN to install CCTV at a brand new playpark to combat vandalism and misuse came a step closer to fruition this week.

Last week Independent Councillor David Fairweather called for CCTV to be installed at the West Links play park prior to its opening.

And this week, while plans progress to install CCTV, Councillor Fairweather has organised warden patrols after an Arbroath grandmother spoke out about intimidation by teenagers at the park.

The concerned grandmother, who did not wish to be named explained the West Links had been overrun by unruly teenagers.

She said: “I was down at the playpark with my grandson and it was full of kids having fun but there were a bunch of big kids running around being very boisterous and being a nuisance.

“I was taking pictures and video of my three year old grandson and when I looked at them later I’ve got all these big kids behaving like idiots in my pictures.

“I’m not saying they were being destructive but they quite clearly should not have been there as they were too big.

“At one point my three year old grandson tried to get on the trampoline and these boys were somersaulting and back flipping. With the weight of the two of them I thought they were going to burst it.

“It grates on me. This is a fantastic park with a lot of money spent on it and we get all these big idiots spoiling all the fun.”

The lady contacted Councillor Fairweather who was able to quickly introduce some changes.

He said: “It didn’t surprise me in the slightest to be honest.

“I spoke to our Community Safety Team and I have arranged for them to go down during the week and on Saturdays.

“Once I get those pictures I will be passing them to the police. She felt so intimidated by those youths she was actually too frightened to say anything to them.

“I have advised the Community Safety Team to get in touch with Ron Ashton and have them put an age group restriction on the sign.

“That’s not rocket science. These youths know it’s not designed for them and they clearly shouldn’t be intimidating youngsters and little ones.”

Earlier in the week Councillor Fairweather had met with director of neighbourhood services Ron Ashton and Jade Mitchell from the West Links Partnership to discuss installing CCTV.

He said: “My concerns regarding the recent vandalism at the new play park were quickly taken on board by the director and I am pleased that action will be carried out to ensure that this play park is not abused or vandalised further by the minority who wish to see this valuable asset to the town destroyed by their own selfish need for destruction.”

It was agreed to pursue installing CCTV at the West Links, as well as erecting signs to the effect that vandals would be prosecuted.

Councillor Fairweather concluded: “Hopefully these deterrents will stop the nonsense of the few who seek to spoil the park for those it was intended for.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We are looking into the feasibility of installing permanent, two-camera CCTV at West Links, not linked to the police system, but as a co-operative partnership with traders on the links.

“We are also considering a third, temporary demountable camera in the area as part of police/community safety system which can be deployed quickly to the area through the community safety partnership. As part of these initiatives, relevant signage would also be placed at West Links.”