Safety fears for park with reports of ‘intimidating’ behaviour and ‘brutal’ fishing gear

Witham Way Country Park
Witham Way Country Park

Efforts are being made to combat ‘intimidating’ anti-social behaviour and safety fears at Witham Way Country Park in Boston.

Boston Borough Council and police are reassuring residents and park users after concerns were raised about groups of people drinking and behaving in a threatening manner - along with illegal fishing and hunting.

At a meeting with police and council representatives, regular visitors to the park told of incidents where they had been confronted by suspicious and intimidating individuals and groups, some under the influence of alcohol. One said he had come across a group of eight young men having a party with two barbecues which went on through the late afternoon and into evening. The next morning he counted 37 empty cans.

A council spokesman said: “Others said there had been frightening incidents with dogs off leads, a discovery of a brutal arrangement of hooks for catching fish left where dogs could injure themselves on it and one occasion when someone was shooting pigeons and rabbits.”

It was agreed extra signs in English and other languages would be installed in the park giving a 24-hour manned number (01205 314200) for reporting non-emergency incidents.

Sgt Callum Scott reminded park users that if they felt threatened or intimidated they should use their mobile phones to call 999.

Sgt Scott said there would be an increase in uniformed police patrols as a result of what he had heard. Pcsos would also have more of a presence, cycling around the park, and there was a possibility of plain clothes police with dogs patrolling.

Sgt Scott said the park was covered by the drink control zone recently introduced by the council and enforced by the police and urged that incidents of consumption and possession of alcohol were reported so action could be taken.

He was asked to make the police presence at times of most risk – 9am-9.30am and Fridays, Saturday and Sundays between 6-7pm.

One resident said he had experienced rapid response from the Environment Agency to fishing out of season. Anyone suspecting illegal fishing activity should call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

All measures will be trialled for three months with a progress meeting called for 10am on Tuesday, June 30, at the Haven Cafe, near Grand Sluice.