Culture of youth drinking and vandalism in Bakewell Park

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Police are being urged to tackle a “culture” of youth drinking in Bakewell park to put a halt to the ongoing problem of “mindless vandalism”.

After two attacks on Bakewell Cricket Club property in May alone – as well as continuing intimidation issues – the team has spoken out in a bid to stump the gangs of youths causing problems.

A Bakewell Cricket Club spokesman said groups were gathering in the park “most evenings” to drink alcohol – usually leaving their bottles behind – and often damaged property.

“There has been a culture of drinking in the park for a number of years, but the mindless vandalism seems to have got worse lately,” the spokesperson said.

“We have complained to police on several occasions but it never gets any better.”

On May 4, a sight-screen belonging to the cricket club was thrown in the river. One week later, seats that had been in the pavilion since 1927 suffered the same fate.

“These groups can often be intimidating too. We don’t mind approaching them if they’re teenagers, but when they’re in their twenties, you are fearful of a punch in the face,” the spokesperson said.

But Sergeant Andy Wordsworth insisted that “positive action” will be taken against underage drinkers or anyone engaging in anti-social behaviour in the park.

He added that officers had been carrying out “high visibility” patrols and had “engaged youths”.

“The youth service also continue to attend the park on a Friday night to deliver diversionary activities,” he said.

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