Police to increase patrols at vandal hotspot park

Arson damage at Riddings Park in Alfreton.

Arson damage at Riddings Park in Alfreton.

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Police have vowed to step up patrols in a Derbyshire park that has been the subject of vandalism and arson.

Riddings Park in Alfreton has seen thugs set fire to children’s play equipment and park benches, whilst newly-planted trees have been ripped from their roots.

Arson damage at Riddings Park in Alfreton.

Arson damage at Riddings Park in Alfreton.

A lighting column was also snapped at the park, with Amber Valley Borough Council estimating the cost of the repair bill to be over £5,000.

In response to the incidents, police have now confirmed patrols in the area will be stepped up.

PCSO Becky Davis from the Somercotes and Riddings Safer Neighbourhood Team says the police are working with the fire service to ‘gather information’ on the vandals.

She said: “We are well aware of the issues of anti-social behaviour taking place at Riddings Park and we are working alongside partnership organisations to clamp down on the issue.

“We are stepping up patrols in a bid to catch offenders and we are liaising with members of the local fire service to work together and gather information.

“Anyone found to be involved in anti-social behaviour will be dealt with appropriately including with warning letters to parents and carers and setting up Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.

“We are also working to gather intelligence from local residents.

“So I would urge anyone who has information about incidents of anti-social or nuisance behaviour in the area to please get in touch with me on 101 and give as much detail as possible including how many people were spotted committing offences and the times and dates of incidents.”

To help improve the image of the park and surrounding areas, Riddings Park Community Centre will be hosting a clear-up on Wednesday, with a team of volunteers from local housing association Futures Homescape also on hand to help.