Facebook and Twitter sites have been buzzing in recent days with comments about Matlock’s Hall leys Park.
An initial post about alleged inappropriate behaviour in the park opened the floodgates, with people joining a debate about yobs and louts and calls for increased police patrols and a complete booze ban.
The police and district council quite rightly point to the statistics which show that crime in the park has actually FALLEN in the last 12 months.
Police say they patrol the area daily and there is an alcohol order in place, allowing officers to stop people drinking in the park if they are being a nuisance.
But despite all that, some concerned parents still say they don’t feel 100 per cent safe taking their children to the park.
Let’s get this into perspective, Hall Leys Park is not The Bronx.
The level of crime and nuisance behaviour is way below what you might expect in an inner city suburb.
But it is partly because of this, because this beautiful park is such an asset to the town – both to local residents and the tourists and visitors it attracts – that people are so concerned.
Nobody is trying to discredit the park or deter people from going – completely the opposite, in fact.
We ALL want the park to be the jewel in Matlock’s crown – but we ALL have to play our part in this.
If we want a zero tolerance approach to nuisance behaviour in the area, then we all have to do our bit.
The police simply don’t have the resource to station an officer in the park 24 hours a day, so we all have to take responsibility of being their eyes and ears and, most importantly, of reporting ANY anti-social behaviour, calling officers to deal with every single lout or yob we see.
Zero tolerance has to start with US...
Phil Bramley, Editor