Police will patrolling troubled Harborough park on Saturday night - and talking to residents frustrated by recent anti-social behaviour

This is in response to a meeting with police, council representatives and residents this week

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:58 am

Police will be out and about at a troubled Market Harborough park tomorrow night (Saturday) as they step up moves to engage much more closely with angry residents.

Beat officers based at the town’s Fairfield Road police station will be out on patrol at Little Bowden Recreation Ground off Northampton Road between 7.30pm and 8.30pm.

“This pop-up session is in response to feedback,” said Harborough police.

Little Bowden Recreation Ground. Photo by Andrew Carpenter.
Little Bowden Recreation Ground. Photo by Andrew Carpenter.

“Please be aware of current Covid restrictions but come and talk to your local officers.”

The event is going ahead just three days after a virtual public meeting was staged on Wednesday night to listen to and address fuming local people’s issues and concerns.

The online public forum went ahead after a wave of incidents involving heavy drinking, drug-taking, loud music and rubbish being strewn around at the park over the last few weeks.

Sgt Ryan Coleman, of Harborough police, pledged they would be setting up regular “beat surgeries” on a Friday and Saturday night at Little Bowden rec as they act to combat repeated anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Phil King, who heads up Harborough council, said after the 65-minute meeting: “I’d tell the people who live around this park – we are listening to you.

“The police have made a big commitment to hold new beat surgeries there on Friday and Saturday nights – and that’s got to be good.

“They have admitted that they have to improve their communications with local people.

“This is a big step forward.

“We are not perfect.

“But there is a much wider issue here.

“This is about building up and gaining the community’s confidence,” said the Conservative council boss.

“The police need the people’s help – they can’t do it all by themselves.

“They need vital local intelligence from the scene – who did what, why and when.

“It’s no good just sticking your thoughts down and expressing your emotions on Facebook.

“Call the police – or use Crimestoppers to give officers the information they need,” said Cllr King.

“It’s not easy for either the council or the police because Harborough is a huge rural district covering 250 square miles.

“We face many challenges on multiple fronts.

“But I am very positive that we are all heading in the right direction,” said the council chief.

“I’d urge residents living around the park – please act as our eyes and ears on the ground at Little Bowden rec.

“Tell both us and the police what is going on there.

“Do that, stay in touch and together we can start to get on top of these anti-social behaviour, drinking and drugs problems at this wonderful park.”