Residents thank police for holding face-to-face talks after a spree of anti-social behaviour in Kibworth

They are now calling on police to work alongside local councillors to escalate efforts to stamp out heavy drinking, drug-taking, loud music and rubbish

Monday, 28th June 2021, 1:12 pm

Residents in a Harborough village are thanking police for holding face-to-face talks after a spree of anti-social behaviour in local parks.

Local people walked and talked with police officers as they toured troubled Smeeton Road and Warwick Road recreation grounds in Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt.

And they are now calling on police to work alongside local councillors to escalate efforts to stamp out heavy drinking, drug-taking, loud music and rubbish.

Police were at Warwick Road Park in Kibworth during Friday evening.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Police were at Warwick Road Park in Kibworth during Friday evening. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A worried mum who turned out with her neighbours to raise her concerns told the Harborough Mail: “We were very grateful for the chance to go along and talk to police as well as to our local councillors.

“I’ve lived here 10 years and this is probably the worst we’ve known it here for trouble and rowdyism.

“We can’t just blame the kids.

“We’ve all done stupid things when we were much younger,” said the mother of-four.

Police met residents at Smeeton Road park during Friday evening. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“But there’s no excuse for going out and causing so much trouble in our community almost every Friday night.

“I’d certainly appeal to older teenagers and youths to leave our children’s playground at Warwick Road rec alone.

“They are going in there and drinking and showering broken glass as well as cans and bottles about the playground.

“We had a child badly injured the other week after she fell over and hurt herself on broken glass thrown into the grass,” said the mum in her 50s.

PCSO Tushar Joshi, Simon Welband, Tom Day of Community Partnership at Harborough District Council, chairman Phil King and PC Steve Winn at the Warwick Road Park in Kibworth. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“That’s totally unacceptable.

“My husband was out one night walking our dogs and he spotted a girl aged just 12 years old or so dead drunk.

“That’s absolutely shocking.

“What are parents doing to allow that to happen?

“There’s no parental control what so ever.

“My big worry is that the older kids are drawing in some of the younger ones – and that’s frightening with so much drink and drugs about.

“The police seemed to understand that we need more help and support to help maintain law and order in our two big parks here.

“So we can only hope that they do respond much more quickly from here on in when we do have incidents at weekends.”

Cllr Kevin Feltham, a county councillor who lives in Kibworth, told the Mail: “The people who came along found this get-together very useful.

“We only had one day’s notice that the police were visiting us here otherwise many more residents would have come out.

“There is no easy answer to this recent wave of anti-social behaviour.

“I can understand local people’s intense frustration,” said Cllr Feltham.

“Our two parks are just about half a mile apart and kids run from one to the other when police drive up to tackle them.

“If we had enough officers we’d simply surround both recs and seal off all the exits.

“We are looking forward to working much more closely with Insp Jim Purdie, our new head of police in Harborough.

“He seems to have got off on the right foot here and we have high hopes that moves to confront this asbo situation here will be stepped up.

“We do appear to be heading in the right direction,” said the veteran Conservative councillor.

“But I still insist that the parents of kids who go out and scatter rubbish such as shattered glass all over should be made to clear it up themselves.

“Why should we have to rely on fantastic citizens such as parish councillors and volunteers to have to go out and clean it up?”

Harborough police said: “Engagement in the Kibworth parks this evening.

“Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

“Still work to be done but refreshing opinions and attitudes.”