Search

Rise in violence since Harold Hill skatepark opening

PUBLISHED: 15:17 28 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:17 28 August 2014

The skatepark in Central Park has seen a rise in violence

The skatepark in Central Park has seen a rise in violence

Archant

Groups of youths clashing in a new skatepark have led to an increase in violent crimes at a Harold Hill park.

A senior councillor has warned of a small group of people “ruining the park for others” and special constables have been deployed to patrol Central Park over the summer holidays.

In the past three months there have been 20 crimes. Nine were violent, and as serious as grievous and actual bodily harm.

Insp John Goodwin, of Havering Police, said: “Since the skatepark began being used, we have had users coming in from across the borough and some from a fair distance away.

“We found there was a flurry of clashes with locals and outsiders. People who go to the skatepark go to enjoy themselves, but they come into contact with other users of the park.”

He said that part-time officers, known as special constables, had been drafted in to watch out for the offenders, whose ages have ranged from 12 to 17.

This summer the special constables have spent more than 550 hours patrolling the park, which opened in April.

“In response to youths clashing and causing a disturbance, Gooshays Neighbourhood Policing Team and Havering Council’s Parks Enforcement Team have increased,” Insp Goodwin added.

Cllr Melvin Wallace, cabinet member for culture and community engagement, said the council “will not stand for any anti-social behaviour or violence in our parks”.

He said: “A small group of people seem to be ruining the park for others, but I want to reassure residents that we’re doing everything we can to put a stop to this.”

Of the crimes between May 19 and August 18 – as well as the violent crimes – four were thefts, four were public order and two were criminal damage.

Insp Goodwin said: “The patrols are scheduled to continue throughout the summer and beyond should the need arise.”

Three youths have signed contracts with the police to ensure their “acceptable behaviour” and they have so far kept to them, according to the inspector.

Read more:

Kids reduced to tears after new play area in Central Park, Harold Hill, destroyed by arsonists

New-look Harold Hill park project swings into action

Names of suspected arsonists involved in Harold Hill play area fire handed to police

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:55

The brutal murder of an 85-year-old great-grandmother bludgeoned to death in her Romford home by a debt-ridden gardener has left a “hole in her family that will never ever be filled”.

Yesterday, 16:54

A former Bomber Command rear gunner who lied about his age so he could join the RAF during the Second World War died in Romford last week.

Yesterday, 15:00

The mother of a three-year-old with a rare genetic condition described a Hornchurch charity that supports youngsters with disabilities and special needs as “their shoulder to cry on”.

Yesterday, 12:25

A Romford handyman has admitted bludgeoning an 85-year-old widow to death with a hammer.

Yesterday, 12:10

Police officers were called to break up a large group of schoolchildren outside Havering Sixth Form College after reports of a fight yesterday (Thursday, November 15).

Yesterday, 11:21

Watch the heart-warming moment a Romford hairdresser who cuts the homeless’ hair for free is given a surprise from the National Lottery for her hard work.

Yesterday, 07:47

December 1 is Small Business Saturday. As part of a series looking at what our independent shopping parades have to offer, reporter Hayley Anderson finds out why you should hit the high street and shop local this Christmas.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now