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Call for action after incidents at Long Sutton, Holbeach and Whaplode play areas

Families are calling for action to be taken after a series of intimidating and anti-social behaviour in play areas across South Holland.

Play equipment has been damaged and families are said to be too frightened to visit the open spaces after incidents in Long Sutton, Holbeach and Whaplode.

Concerned parents have taken to social media to call for something to do be done. One post stated that a six-year-old boy was left with a broken wrist after he confronted a group of youngsters who were said to be upsetting other children in the play area on Lawyers Close in Holbeach.

Winfrey Park Long Sutton, includes inscription on gates (4168410)
Winfrey Park Long Sutton, includes inscription on gates (4168410)

John Clarey, chairman of Long Sutton Parish Council, has received letters of complaint from young families who feel unable to enjoy Winfrey Park due to intimidating behaviour and damage.

“It’s not safe for families –there’s groups of 20-plus and nobody would want to confront them,” he said.

“Not all of them are young teenagers either, some of them are coming in cars from the Holbeach and Pinchbeck areas. It’s absolutely dreadful.”

The cordon is broken in Long Sutton's Winfrey Park (33037612)
The cordon is broken in Long Sutton's Winfrey Park (33037612)

Coun Clarey says that the incidents began when the country went into lockdown.

He said: “We’ve had a problem since lockdown with schools closed and now we’ve got the six weeks of holiday too.

“We did what we could but any tape we put on equipment was taken down as soon as it went up, locks were broken and I’ve never seen so much rubbish and cannisters (commonly linked to the use of nitrous oxide known as laughing gas).

The cordon is broken in Long Sutton's Winfrey Park (33037614)
The cordon is broken in Long Sutton's Winfrey Park (33037614)

“It just feels as though it’s never ending and they don’t realise how costly this is.

“A new company has been patrolling for the past fortnight and with a bit of luck we will see an improvement – that’s all we can hope for.”

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of some anti-social incidents a some of the open spaces and play parks in the South Holland area.

“We will continue to patrol all of our open spaces and engage with the community to discuss their concerns.

“We work closely with the South Holland District Council and our local groups to ensure all of our areas are safe for people of any age to enjoy without feeling intimidated or uncomfortable.

“When people are concerned about crime or anti-social behaviour it’s important they contact our local neighbourhood policing team so we can investigate.”

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