Horndean Parish Council Vandalism on Sites.
HELP US TO STOP THE MINDLESS VANDALISM AND ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN PARKS, RECREATION GROUNDS, PLAY AREAS AND LEISURE AREAS IN HORNDEAN.
The Parish Council owns and maintains a number of open spaces, parks and play areas for use end enjoyment by the community. As a Parish we are lucky to have access to such a large amount and variety of leisure and recreation areas. They range from a Site of Special Scientific Interest at Catherington Down, to Local Nature reserves, to parks, to playing fields and play areas. Here is a link to what is available for community use: Council Facilities
Some areas will be used by all age groups but other areas have a specific focus particularly with regard to the age of the intended user. What is important is that everyone does have access to the leisure areas and that they should be used appropriately.
There are a small minority of teenagers whose behaviour is antisocial and who are causing a lot of damage, leaving litter/ debris/ broken glass in the areas where they congregate and deterring others from using an area. There is a cost to the residents in having to deal with the aftermath of their behaviour.
Firstly, the staff time in the Parish Office as each incident has to be reported separately in order to get a crime reference number. Then, arrangements have to be made for repairs and replacement items.
Secondly, the time of the Countryside Team who carry out a lot of repairs in-house but who also clear up litter, broken glass and evidence of drug use.
Lastly, there is the actual cost to the Parish of repairs having to be carried out. These are a sample of the costs at Jubilee Hall since January of this year:-
1. In January, a bench was set alight and destroyed beyond repair. The replacement cost was £550 plus vat plus the time of the Countryside Team in carrying out the replacement of the bench.
2. In February, a window was broken that cost £179 plus vat to replace.
3. In March, the outside toilet was vandalised. There were minor sundry costs but the major cost was the replacement of the door that had been pulled off its hinges- £248.
4. In April, a floor to ceiling window in the reception area was smashed whilst a Council meeting was in progress. The quote for the replacement window is £848 plus vat.
These costs are paid by the residents through the precept paid by each household. A band D property pays £76.42 per annum.
Most incidents are captured on CCTV. Where teenagers are identified, contact is made with their parents. In respect of item 3 above, the two teenagers involved were sitting outside on the grass whilst the CCTV footage was being viewed. It would be appropriate for their parents to step forward and reimburse the repair costs.
A selection of other incidents and the site where it occurred:-
5. Damage to the gates from Stonechat Road and also Avocet Way onto Jubilee Field.
6. Numerous cases of graffiti at the toddlers play area, Jubilee Hall. The wooden monkey on the pod and the steps are regularly broken off. There is continual evidence of drug use within this area. The teenagers congregate in the toddler area. This prevents use by those aged 10 and under for whom it is intended.
7. Fires are lit around the Jubilee Hall and Five Heads sites. On one known occasion at Jubilee hall, deodorant cans were thrown onto a fire with the resultant explosion.
8. Broken glass and litter at Jubilee Hall, Five Heads Recreation Ground and Deep Dell- off Hazleton Way.
9. Litter at Jays Close.
10. The riding of motor bikes and scooters without helmets on the grass at Jubilee Hall and on Catherington Lane.
11. One of the older boys dropping his trousers and pressing up against a window whilst a meeting was taking place at Jubilee Hall.
12. One of the most frightening incidents took place at Deep Dell on an afternoon earlier this month. 12-15 male teenagers were drinking, swearing, weaving around on electric scooters, throwing around temporary barriers and trying to break playground equipment. All this whilst young children and their parents were present.
These teenagers are easily identifiable. They are always present. They are captured on CCTV. They probably attend local schools. They live amongst us. On each site and on each occasion, there is probably someone present who knows who they are. That includes their peer group. It could be their parents. Please report who and what you see to the police on 101 or online: Hampshire Police- Report a crime but also to the Parish Office via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dealing with this problem is a community effort.