POLICE UPPING PARK PATROLS
THIEVES and vandals are targeting parks in west Hull.
Police are increasing patrols in Pickering Park and Costello Stadium after a spate of burglaries.
Officers are also urging people who witness crimes in the parks to contact police after attacks by vandals went unreported.
PCSO James Stewart, of the West and Wyke neighbourhood policing team, said: "Both parks have been targeted quite heavily by burglars in the past few weeks.
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"We have had people breaking into the park rangers' office and some other outbuildings in the parks.
"The main issue we are having is the run of burglaries, but there have been other problems including criminal damage, some of which haven't been reported."
Burglaries were reported at Pickering Park on November 26, January 2 and January 10.
Equipment belonging to park rangers, who are employed by Hull City Council, was taken during the raids.
PCSO Stewart said: "That is three burglaries in little over a month, and there has been at least the same number at Costello.
"It is difficult to say who is responsible. It could be the same offenders, but we don't know."
Officers from the neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out extra patrols in the parks, particularly during evenings.
They will be stopping anyone found in the park, carrying out searches and asking people using the park to report suspicious activity.
PCSO Stewart said: "We are increasing patrols in the parks, particularly during the night.
"We will be stopping people we come across in the parks, especially if they are loitering at night, but we will also be making them aware of the problems we have had.
"Officers are also giving crime prevention advice to park rangers to make sure their security is as good as it can be."
During the extra patrols carried out so far, people have told police they have seen vandals in the park but did not report it.
PCSO Stewart said: "People have been stopping us in the park to tell us they have seen kids causing damage and other minor things, but have decided not to report it because they didn't want to get involved.
"It is important people tell us about anything they see, because every bit of vandalism and every burglary ultimately impacts on the people who use the park.
"If you go into a park and see equipment that has been damaged, or buildings with graffiti on, it is detrimental to your enjoyment of the park."
Adam McArthur, assistant head of service for waste, cleansing, grounds and parks at the city council, said: "We are always disappointed to hear of vandalism and thefts in any of our parks and buildings.
"When we were made aware of the incidents in Pickering Park and Costello, we reported them to the police and we will work with them to carry out their investigations.
"We would encourage anyone witnessing criminal activity in the parks to report it to the police as we should not put up with this unacceptable behaviour in our communities."
Anyone with information about crime should call police on 101.