Floral effort to keep troublemakers away
POLICE tackling anti-social behaviour in a Bristol park say they have come up with a fresh solution – flower power. For the past seven summers disgruntled residents around St Andrew's Park in Bishopston have been subjected to drunkenness, loud music, drug using and public urination.
Police have identified the corner of the park at Leopold Road and Maurice Road as the main problem spot.
Now Bishopston and Redland beat manager PC Kevin Parsons, along with Bristol City Council and Friends of St Andrew's Park have put forward an interesting proposal. They want to introduce a series of flowering meadow beds preventing large groups congregating and consuming alcohol in that corner of the park.
PC Parsons said: "Over the last seven years things have been getting progressively worse in terms of anti-social behaviour including people littering, urinating in the park and drug-taking.
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"We've even had DJs setting up decks down there and playing loud music.
"These problems often continue late into the night. As a police force, we don't have a problem with people using the park. What we do have a problem with is a group that remain there and do things with no thought for the residents who live nearby."
He added: "This is not going to disrupt the general use of the park – it will add colour and curtail the late night behaviour that has been happening for a number of years."
Commenting on the Friends of St Andrew's Park website about the proposals, Des Bowering said: "I've nothing against a few tight-rope walking hippies but no single activity should dominate the park, and if anything can be done to discourage the wider ASB problem by all means give flowers a chance."
But Gavin Spittlehouse said: "For me these problems aren't a priority matter, I'm just concerned the scheme sounds expensive and unlikely to work well, and that in times of austerity the money that this will cost might be better spent elsewhere."
A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said: "St Andrew's Park is a popular, well-used park. Nothing yet has been decided on any new planting schemes for the park – it is one of a range of ideas we are considering in partnership with local residents and police."