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Report reveals no rise in anti-social behaviour at Burntwood parks since gates stopped being locked

A report has revealed that a decision to stop locking Burntwood parks at night has not led to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Redwood Park in Burntwood. Pic: Google Streetview
Redwood Park in Burntwood. Pic: Google Streetview

Lichfield District Council agreed a plan to end the practice of locking up the town’s five parks each night in 2016 as part of the Fit for the Future programme designed to plug a hole in the local authority’s funding.

At the time, talks were underway to transfer ownership of the spaces to Burntwood Town Council so a final decision on axing the service was delayed – but the switch never happened.

A report from Cllr David Leytham, Cabinet member of leisure, waste and operational services, revealed that because the budget had already been adjusted, gates could no longer be locked after 1st April 2018.

It added that in 2017/18, the council paid £10,585 to a security firm to carry out the task.

“The police have confirmed as of March 2019 that there has not been an increase in anti-social behaviour within Burntwood parks since the gates have been left unlocked,” Cllr Leytham’s report said.

The figures reveal that  in 2017 and 2018, nine incidents were reported to police each year, while from January to March of this year just three incidents have been recorded.

The report will be heard at a meeting of the operational services, leisure and waste overview and scrutiny committee at Lichfield District Council on 26th March.

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  1. Steve

    20th March, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    2017 9 incidents
    2018 9 incidents
    2019 Jan – Mar 3 incidents. 1 incident a month. If it continues at that rate. 2019 12 incidents.

    Is 12 no longer greater than 9?

  2. wendy wood

    20th March, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    This report is inaccurate. The local community have taken responsibility for locking the park.

  3. Cllr Sue Woodward

    21st March, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    It certainly is, Wendy Wood. It’s also 10+ months too late as I asked for a report last April when I started receiving reports from residents about the spike in incidents of anti-social behaviour. This was echoed in discussions with the police who were as annoyed as we local Councillors were in not having been informed of the decision. Thankfully, a number of residents around Redwood Park stored up and took on the responsibility for locking the gates. But failures at Lichfield District Council remain.