Residents Demand Action Against Ongoing Anti-Social Behaviour at Wilmot Park Following Latest Incident of Vandalism

Residents Demand Action Against Ongoing Anti-Social Behaviour at Wilmot Park Following Latest Incident of Vandalism

Residents in Dartford are once again calling for action to be taken against ongoing anti-social behaviour at Wilmot Park, following a recent incident where a motorbike was torched, causing damage to the newly-installed gates at the park’s entrance.

According to reports, the burnt bike was found next to Wilmot Park, located on Wilmot Road, forcing the park to close as the charred padlocks were unable to be opened. This incident has sparked fury among residents who have been dealing with repeat anti-social behaviour at the green space.

Garry Turner, the West Hill Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, expressed his frustration, saying, “It is disheartening to witness such blatant acts of anti-social behaviour targeting Wilmot Park once again. Thankfully, the council installed the front gates last year, as I can only imagine the damage that could have been done if these vandals set fire to the bike near the new play equipment.”

Residents have been working closely with West Hill councillors to address this persistent issue at the park. Last August, the neighbourhood watch team successfully campaigned for the installation of gates after reports of “gangs of youths” causing havoc at the playground late at night. This included reports of screaming, shouting, and destruction of temporary fences around the newly-installed play equipment.

According to locals, this problem has been ongoing for years but has escalated over the summer holidays, with vandals even urinating in the play area. The park has since reopened, but the issues continue.

Metal fences were initially erected to prevent access to the playground during the installation of new equipment, but these were repeatedly pulled down. Residents also reported finding discarded balloons, cigarette butts, and laughing gas canisters in the play area.

After three consecutive nights of chaos, park contractors were called in to re-erect the fences and clean up the park. However, even with the installation of permanent gates, issues persist.

Mr. Turner acknowledged the limited resources available, but suggested that CCTV could be a worthwhile investment to deter future anti-social behaviour. “Many residents have suggested CCTV as a possible solution, and we hope that this will be considered,” he said.

A police spokesperson confirmed that they responded to a report of a burnt-out motorbike on Saturday (July 6) at around 4am. The vehicle is believed to have been reported stolen, and an investigation is ongoing. The Dartford council was approached for comment on the matter.

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