WILLOW Park in Balsall Common has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour, leaving many residents too scared to visit.
Now neighbours have mounted a petition, calling for measures to stop the problems, which have been going on for months. Residents in Needlers End Lane, which backs onto the parkland, said that the situation was “getting out of hand”.
They say there have been problems with drug abuse, garages being broken into, youths starting fires and making noise until the early hours.
A father-of-two, who asked not to be named, said that something had to be done.
“It used to be an absolutely fantastic area, everyone knew each other, but the village has grown and grown and problems have started,” he said.
“Police told me that the groups used to meet in Lavender Hall Park; they were driven off there and now they’re coming here. It seems they’re moving round the village.”
Only this year, Solihull Council unveiled a new play area, but many residents have started to give the parkland a wide berth.
The petition will be presented to Balsall Common Parish Council, at their meeting on October 18. Sergeant Tony Hanlon, from the Meriden neighbourhood team, said police were aware of problems late at night and at weekends.
“We will be deploying high-visibility patrols in the area, speaking to people about their behaviour and checking to ensure they are not committing any offences. There is no evidence to suggest misuse of drugs in the location and should we find anyone in possession of an illegal substance they will be arrested.”
Police said that they would also be looking at long-term solutions, like helping to set up a Neighbourhood Watch.