01 August 2008>
Volunteers are being sought to join a Park Watch Scheme in Ystrad Mynach to help reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
Gwent Police and Caerphilly Council are looking for volunteers to help co-ordinate and form the first scheme of its kind in the area.
The Park Watch is being set up for the Caerphilly Road Park and Playing Fields, in response to residents raising it as an area of concern at previous PACT (Partnerships and Communities Together) meetings.
A Park Watch Scheme operates in a similar way to a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, where residents look out for each other and the park, and act as the local eyes and ears of the community.
By joining the scheme, local residents are encouraged to report any acts of damage, vandalism or anti-social behaviour they witness to the police or council, if it is safe for them to do so.
The scheme aims to help reduce anti-social behaviour and misuse of the park, damage to park property, and most of all encourage residents to take ownership of the well-used facility and build community spirit.
PCSO Gareth Coombes, said: "Vandalism, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour are issues that have been experienced at the park and have been highlighted by residents as priorities that they want to see tackled at PACT meetings. Our Neighbourhood Policing Team, together with the council's Community Safety Wardens, has and continues to run targeted anti-social behaviour and alcohol confiscation operations, as well as regularly patrolling the area on foot.
"This has had a positive effect with less problems being reported in the park recently. The introduction of the Park Watch however, aims to encourage residents to report any vandalism or youth disorder that they see, so that we can respond accordingly. The park is well used and is a great asset to the community. The introduction of the scheme will help to increase community involvement and have a further positive effect on the area."
A Caerphilly Council Parks Services officer said, "We give this fantastic scheme our full support. On occasions in the past, substantial vandalism has unfortunately occurred to the park, which prevents local people from enjoying the facilities that the park has to offer. Hopefully the introduction of this Park Watch scheme will encourage local people to report vandalism or anti social behaviour in the park to the relevant authorities, should they witness it".
Local residents are invited to contact the Ystrad Mynach Neighbourhood Policing Team to register their interest in joining the scheme. A co-ordinator is also required to take leadership of the scheme and act as a liaison point between local residents, local police and the council.
If you are interested in joining the scheme or becoming a co-ordinator, please contact PCSO Gareth Coombes at Ystrad Mynach Police Station on 01443 865 589. Please note, this is a voicemail number - please leave a message and PCSO Coombes will return your call. You can also e-mail your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
The next PACT meeting for the Ystrad Mynach ward will be held on Tuesday 11th November, at 6:00pm at the Siloh Christian Centre, Oakfield Street.
Further Information: www.caerphilly.gov.uk/saferccb
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