As custodians of the Pocket Park, it is with great sadness that the ARA has to write this post. Perhaps, however, it was inevitable.
Public Spaces like our Pocket Park are, by their nature, open to all members of community. Of course, there are rules, but these rules are no more imposing than say those you’d impose inside your own household; respect for others and behaviour befitting and adhering to the laws of the country.
The Arboretum Pocket Park is a dry area, meaning the consumption of alcohol is forbidden.
However, along with the community support officers, the ARA and the Arboretum residents have, by and large, chosen in the past to tolerate members of the public who like to sit on those wooden sleepers in the spring or summer sunshine and enjoy a drink while being mindful to respect the rights of other park-goers and people who live neighbouring the park.
At our last ARA meeting, it was brought to our attention by an attendee, that behaviour by some of those using the park as unbefitting of the standards usually upheld by members of the community. Excessive drinking, drug taking, vandalism (such as lighting fires) and intolerable noise levels have all been reported over the past months.
Tragically, a stabbing was reported at the park on Monday evening (5th July 2021).
This is not the Pocket Park the Arboretum wants or deserves. As such those who disrespect the ethical code and the spirit of the park will have to have it made clear to them they are breaking the behavioural standards expected of them and because of this they will need to be evicted by the relevant authorities. I/we encourage all those witnessing inappropriate behaviour at the Pocket Park to report it to the police by phoning 101 or their submit a report on their website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
The ARA has written a letter to local political representatives asking for their support and will also seek to work alongside the police in ensuring the Pocket Park is a garden for the whole community, a quiet place to sit, relax and enjoy the space in peace.
Thank you for your continued diligence.