Award as park tackles trouble

Amy Gray A park in Great Yarmouth that was once the haunt of troublemakers and drunks has won a prestigious award.St George's Park has received a Green Flag Award from the Civic Trust just weeks after the police reported success in tackling anti-social behaviour at the park.

Amy Gray

A park in Great Yarmouth that was once the haunt of troublemakers and drunks has won a prestigious award.

St George's Park has received a Green Flag Award from the Civic Trust just weeks after the police reported success in tackling anti-social behaviour at the park.

A group of about 20 youths congregated in the park following a £2.5m revamp in April and police were receiving about five calls a week to the park.

Officers trawled through hours of CCTV footage and identified the youths. Those that responded well to acceptable behaviour contracts were also channelled into schemes supported by the police to deter youngsters from committing crimes, and police have said that calls to the park have been reduced to two a week.

Parks and green spaces that win the Green Flag Award are judged to be welcoming and well maintained with the support and involvement of the local community. As part of the refurbishment, the park was equipped with improved lighting and security, new play equipment, seating, bins and planting and resurfaced footways.

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Simon Mutten, environmental strategy manager for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The award of the Green Flag is gratifying because it provides external validation of the improvements that have been made, not only through the refurbishment project, but also in how we manage and maintain the park now and in the future for the benefit of both residents and visitors.

“When the judges visited the park they were particularly struck by just how many people were using it.”

Councillor Jim Shrimplin, who chaired the project board overseeing the scheme, said: “This award is further recognition of the significant improvements now taking place throughout the borough.”