Teacher targets park problems

PUBLISHED: 06:27 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

Cllr Roz Willis pictured outside a graffiti-strewn building in Ashcombe Park.

Cllr Roz Willis pictured outside a graffiti-strewn building in Ashcombe Park.

A HEADTEACHER has written to parents to express his concern over young people drinking, taking drugs and carrying weapons in a Weston park

Andy Russell.

A HEADTEACHER has written to parents to express his concern over young people drinking, taking drugs and carrying weapons in a Weston park.Andy Russell, head of Wyvern Community School, sent a letter to parents saying how worried he is about what goes on in Ashcombe Park and elsewhere in town on a Friday night.In the letter Mr Russell says: "I have been talking with my colleague headteachers from the other secondary schools in the town and with the police about our concerns over Friday night activities at Ashcombe Park and other locations in the town. "We know from experience that these activities can lead to further problems such as criminal damage, assault and unprotected sex."People living in Milton are also concerned about the situation at Ashcombe Park. They say they are living in fear because children as young as 10 are taking part in 'gang warfare' outside their houses.One resident, who lives in Chesham Road North, didn't want to be named for fear of reprisals.He said: "I've had six out of 10 of the panes in my window shot with some kind of ballbearing gun and shattered. I have also had both wing mirrors smashed on my car. They use the road as a route though from the park."I have seen the groups putting bottles under tyres and even running on people's cars."Recently I saw a group of 15-16 year olds wheeling a trolley full of booze into the park."Residents in Milton Road say up to 100 youths are congregating around the park at night to drink, fight and attack private property.John Parsons lives opposite the park with his parents. He said: "Last week 100 to 150 youths gathered there. They congregate at the bottom of the park, urinate in the street, indecently expose themselves and fight each other. I have seen children as young as 10 drinking there."I have elderly parents and I worry what is going to happen if I'm not home. It is like gang warfare at the bottom of the park." Jackie Wilson, who also lives in Milton Road with her partner John, says she doesn't even like going out of her front door when the gangs start congregating.She said: "We have lived here for more than two years and it has got worse recently. It is very scary."I've got kids but I knew what my daughter was doing when she was younger and it certainly wasn't being in the park until three or four in the morning. Parents even drop them off at the park."If they want to chill out with their friends fine, but they interfere with our lives."North Somerset councillor Roz Willis, a member of Milton and Worlebury Local Action Team, said: "Our LAT is very small and at the moment we are trying to re-build it. By doing that we can work with the youth and have them involved with the community rather than against it."We need services in Milton for the young as much as anywhere else.

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