Brighton park plagued by yobs risks becoming a ‘no go area’

Posted On 17 Oct 2016 at 1:53 pm

An emergency meeting is to be held this evening in a bid to combat an outbreak of antisocial behaviour which risks turning a small Brighton park into a no go zone.
Over the last few weeks, Tarner Park off Sussex Street has been hit by acts of vandalism, arson and burglary, all committed late at night, as well as yobbish behaviour, swearing and motorbikes being ridden through the park at other times.

The park, which is next to Carlton Hill School and Tarnerland Nursery, is also home to the Tarner after school club, and parents are already becoming wary of going into the park as a result.

There are fears the problems could escalate yet further if nothing is done to stop those responsible.

And those who help look after the park warn that the same fate could befall other parks in the city as the council copes with massive cuts in the parks budget by giving more responsibility to residents groups and volunteers.

Emma Jacquest, CEO of the Tarner Community Project which runs the after school club said: “This has been escalating since early summer when they ripped our external notice boards off the building and our lovely rose arch to the garden and set fire to these, they then set fire to our new bin.

“Now they have broken into our storage container and stolen all the bikes – in total approx £2,000 and the other night they attacked the floodlights.

“The police advise us to inform them of everything that happens however small and install CCTV, otherwise as many of these incidents happen in the middle of the night, they will never be able to catch these criminals. We are looking into the costs for CCTV but I think this may be too expensive for us.

“My greatest concern is this group is growing in numbers and their activities are getting more dangerous. I am aware this is spilling out into the local streets too, so urgent action needs to be taken now.”

She added: “This is happening at the same time as the parks consultation, and the council are already not making repairs to things when they break. As the lights break, they’re not replaced, they can be gone for a year or two.

“In the consultation, there’s quite a lot of onus on residents and local people taking on the maintenance. We are already doing that, and I’m not alone in thinking this could be an example of parks becoming no go zones.

“Without structured support, who’s going to look after the parks? As residents, we can’t throw people out of the park, we don’t have any power at all, but obviously it has a massive impact on the whole area.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The central Brighton neighbourhood policing team is fully aware of anti-social behaviour problems in Tarner Park and the most likely times when these are occurring.

“Patrols in the area are being increased and police community support officers aim to attend a residents’ meeting on Monday (17 October) when the issue will be discussed.”

The community project hopes to be able to reclaim the value of the bikes via insurance. It’s urging anyone who sees antisocial behaviour, or has information, to call 101 or email

The meeting will be held today at 6pm at the Tarner Community Project.

  1. Luke Lebihan Reply

    Hi, me and my friends regularly attend Tarner park to play football and the floodlights provide us somewhere we can all meet and play football after we have all finished Uni/College. Over the past few years we have spent countless nights playing football together or with another group of people. It would be hugely appreciated if you could voice our concern to the council as it comes from about 15 of us who all regularly attend the park to play football. We could also be of benefit towards the community, as we are there so often we will contact the police if any vandalism or bad behaviour is seen or as we are one of the oldest groups of people that often come to the park, warn them that we will contact the police if they continue. I believe that this could be helpful as we are quite a lot older however we are old enough to talk to them sensibly and I’m pretty sure that they would listen to us.

    I hope that you manage to repair the damage (especially the floodlights)!!

    Kind Regards,

  2. Edit Reply

    Ohh come on…This is just silly. Why do we pay council tax? Why do we have police at all? You have to go there and sort it out at night, arrest those idiots and give them a couple of years in prison. It’s not about installing CCTV…are you kidding? Behave as real police officers and protect your residents! Start carrying guns on you otherwise no one ever takes you serious people! Police should be more efficient and serious in this country!

    • Joe Stains Reply

      That is the common sense approach; unfortunately not the Green/Labour Party’s politically-correct, ‘all criminals are victims of society’, ‘everybody has Rights’ approach.

      How dare you criticise these highly vulnerable individuals who are expressing their inner torment via vandalism and anti-social behaviour?

      It’s off to the re-education gulag for you, comrade!!’

      • Monk Bobhouse Reply

        Its not about having to be ‘PC’, its about the punishment fitting the crime.

        Yeah, lets just send *all* the bored kids to prison, that’ll make them think twice! Lets not tackle the root cause (parents), because that would require *thinking* and that’s an awful lot of effort isn’t it.

        lol @ carrying guns. Brains.

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