POLICE say they hope teenagers across Chester are getting the message that a school playing field is definitely “out of bounds”.
Police officers, police community support officers and special constables, working alongside community safety wardens from Cheshire West and Chester Council, have been carrying out an operation to prevent youths from a number of schools and the surrounding area using the Bishops’ fields in Boughton Heath as a gathering place on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sergeant Julia Bryant from Chester Outer Neighbourhood Policing Unit said: “We have put extra patrols into the area and seized a lot of alcohol from teenagers. We believe that in most cases they were on their way to the Bishops’ field.
“Special constables in plain clothes have worked at preventing proxy-selling of drink to under-age youngsters and the community safety wardens have toured the area with their CCTV van.
“The number of young people going on to the field seems to have dropped considerably.”
“We really hope they are getting the message that it is not public land and no-one has the right to go on to it simply because they feel like it.”
“Over a period of time, groups of youngsters have been going there and drinking. There have been a few incidents of damage to the school and disturbance affecting people who live nearby.
“We are not suggesting it has turned into a “war zone” or anything like that but there have been problems with noise and rowdyism which have centred on the field and spilled out into the surrounding streets.
“If parents know their children are intending to go down there we would ask them to make it clear that it is not allowed.”
Justin Blakeborough, the headteacher from the Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England High School, said: “We are delighted that the police are working so hard to deal with this problem. Our extensive school playing fields are a wonderful asset to the school and it is not right that young people, most of whom have nothing to do with the school, should be on the field when the school is closed, being a nuisance. It is good to hear that they are getting the message.”
Sam Chapman, Community Safety Officer with the Chester and Rural West Anti Social Behaviour Unit said, “Working in partnership has alleviated a number of anti social issues around the locality.
“The good work undertaken by the Council’s Community Safety Wardens and the Neighbourhood Policing Teams has made a significant impact and reduced problems.
“The ASB Unit will continue to identify perpetrators and prevent further ASB by making interventions and applying to court for orders against people who continually cause anti social behaviour.”