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Parents plea for police to remain at The Level
7:00am Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
Parents fear that a police deployment to prevent drinking and drug taking in a public park could be pulled just months after it started.
A modern-day box at the newly renovated Level in Brighton has been a huge success since it was opened at the end of last month.
Residents have pointed to the uniformed PCSO presence as a major factor in reducing the number of street drinkers around the park and parents have welcomed the safety net for their children.
The hub at the centre of the £2.2 million park is used as a base by members of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team throughout the day, with officers patrolling as late as midnight on some nights.
Workers from a nearby nursery, who just weeks earlier had to call off an outside play session when two street drinkers were seen having drunken sex at 10.30am, said the opening of a police hub had coincided with a dramatic improvement in the area.
Parents using the park yesterday agreed that the police presence must stay.
Jane Drummond, 42, of Franklin Street, said: “It’s important to have a police presence.
“The park has a better feeling to it now, and this has always been an area with nasty situations happening.”
Ezda Beever, 36, of Belgrove Street, said: “I feel safer when you can see the police walking around. It’s an extra pair of eyes for your kid’s safety.
“The park used to be full of drunks. It would be a shame to remove the police presence.”
David Lowrie, 53, of London Road, said: “It’s a bonus as most parks don’t have it.
Other parks could do with the same facility.“ When it’s about children’s safety then the council need to save money elsewhere.
“I would protest if it was being closed down.”
Acouncil spokesman said: “The council is providing a community room in the newly restored pavilions for the Sussex Police Community Hub, which will be available for a three-month trial.
“No decision will be taken as to extending the arrangement until the trial has some time to run.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The hub has proved itself to be extremely popular and the feedback has been exceptionally positive.”
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