POLICE have cracked down on youngsters smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol at a Penarth park.

PC James Dowler said that since concerns of anti-social behaviour had been raised at Victoria Park Playing Fields at a PACT meeting they had designated the park as a priority and made a "more concerted effort to patrol the area".

Residents had raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and complained of youngsters “dealing and smoking drugs” at the park near Victoria Primary School.

PC Dowler, speaking during a briefing on police matters at a Penarth Town Council meeting last Wednesday, July 30, said: "I'm pleased to say that we have made 15 Anti-Social Behaviour Order referrals.

"One male has been arrested for drugs offences within the park and cannabis seized.

"It's a good result seen in that area and we hope to continue that in the summer months."

Councillor Neil Thomas, who represents the Cornerswell ward where the park is based, said that a “significant amount” of drugs had been seized on one day and that he was delighted to see the police cracking down on crime in the area after the PACT meeting, and the co-operation between police, PACT and the town council.

A young person from Penarth Youth Action, who was also attending the meeting, asked whether police would consider patrolling the park by St David's Crescent as there were other incidents of youngsters smoking and drinking alcohol.

PC Dowler said: "We have attended several calls for drink and drugs there. Efforts have been made to discourage them from doing so there. In the summer months PCSOs regularly patrol parks in the evenings when the schools are out."

Another young representative said that Penarth Air Cadets had been the victim of intimidation with people “shouting rude things at us, swear words and insults”.

PC Dowler said: “That's unacceptable and unfair on young people. I will speak to the local police community support team and ask them to make some patrols at those times to stop them from happening."

He added that next time it happened they should report it to the non emergency number 101.

Councillor Philip Rapier said he lived near the Railway hotel and there had been a disturbance, with “shouting bordering on threatening” language, outside his house shortly after the fireworks on carnival day. He praised the police for getting back to his query the day after, when they confirmed it has been nothing serious, but queried if they would consider “crowd dispersal” near the likes of the railway next year.

Councillor van de brom also highlighted cars parking in front of dipped pavement curbs in Penarth town centre that prevented disabled people in wheelchairs from getting on to the pavement.

PC Dowler said he would encourage residents to report such incidents to them.

PC Dowler presented a summary of the last month of crime statistics for across Penarth.

“In other theft there has been a slight increase between May and June, which includes shop lifting along with a variety of other thefts. There has been a slight increase in shop lifting.

“Preventative measures have taken place since that with officers giving crime prevention advice within the town centre where we see incidents of shop.