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Vandal fears at revamped park

PUBLISHED: 17:38 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:15 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth woman says local residents living next to a park are being plagued by troublesome youths.

While Lorraine Finch has welcomed improvements to St George's Park she also believes the changes have left her and her neighbours more exposed to vandals.

A GREAT Yarmouth woman says local residents living next to a park are being plagued by troublesome youths.

While Lorraine Finch has welcomed improvements to St George's Park she also believes the changes have left her and her neighbours more exposed to vandals.

Her claim follows an incident earlier this month when cast iron fencing at the front of her property was vandalised.

Miss Finch, of St George's Road, had witnessed a group of four youths, aged between 15 and 18, messing around at the park. She said: “They started to throw stones at one another and at the CCTV. They were scraping the gravel up from the pathway with their feet, then throwing it.”

The group moved closer to St George's Road, continuing throw gravel at one another. Miss Finch said the group hung around for a little while before moving on.

The following day Miss Finch left her house only to find a cast iron ivy leaf from her fence lying in the road.

“It had been snapped off and there was a lot of gravel stones in the road from where they had been throwing them,” she said.

Miss Finch admits that there were problems in the park with drunk and youths before the major revamp.

The 39-year-old said: “There used to be a lot of stupidity in the park but I have lived here for five years and have never been a victim of crime.

“The area outside was fenced off with railings and shrubs before they opened it up. If people wanted to cause trouble here they had to make the effort to walk round but now they just walk straight through.”

The cast iron fence is more than 100 years old and Miss Finch reckons that to replace the leaf will cost around £500. “Why should I have to claim on my insurance? I like some of what has been done with the park but it is just a shame that the problems have not been sorted out first.”

Miss Finch added she was now wary of who was hanging around her property and in the park. “I'm constantly up and about now looking outside thinking what are they doing,” she said.

A spokesman from the county council this week said it was working with the borough council who maintain the park to see if there is anything that can be done about the loose stones on the pathway.

The park reopened in April following a £2.5m revamp with new seating, lighting, CCTV, plants and play area.

However, yobs have already targeted the play area - ripping up part of the sponge mat - and tree uplighters have also been smashed.

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