Nantwich residents aired their concerns about anti-social behaviour on Brookfield Park to Police Crime Commissioner candidate David Keane.
Mr Keane visited the park on Saturday where a minority of yobs have destroyed trees, set piles of rubbish on fire, left broken glass and litter across the park, and been seen driving cars and motorbikes recklessly on the grass.
Nantwich Police vowed to step up patrols around the park which has attracted increasing groups of people during nicer weather as lockdown eases.
Jeremy Herbert, from Sustainable Nantwich campaign group, was one of the residents who met Mr Keane.
Jeremy is also spearheading a new “Friends of Brookfield Park” community group to plan for changes on how the park is used.
He said: “This small mindless minority may have smashed up a dozen trees, burned a bench and some pallets, and left rubbish strewn across the park, but they have brought people together and helped us all realise how important Brookfield Park is to the community.
“The Police Commissioner spent over an hour with us on Saturday and spoke to residents, allotment holders and young people.
“He has gone back to base to convene a task force to deal with these issues of criminal behaviour.
“But it’s not just a job for the police.
“It’s up to parents, schools and young people to change the way we think about the park, to plant ideas for a better future.
“The Friends of Brookfield Park is being formed to look after the park, and with exciting ideas to create a more diverse, beautiful and nature friendly park, with trees and shrubs, wildflowers and walkways linked into the river walks.
“Already families, community groups, Reaseheath College, residents and allotmenteers have been in touch wanting to be involved in planting a brighter future.
“Burning trees is a problem worldwide and its mainly adults, corporations, that are leading the way in trashing the planet.
“Anger, threats and violence aren’t the answer.
“We have to reclaim our green spaces for everyone, and everyone needs to be positively engaged and involved – particularly the next generation.
“It’s their world and their future.”
One resident who lives by the park and also met with Mr Keane added: “Residents stood in a circle voicing all our concerns and feelings on lack of proper policing.
“He kept reiterating the opinion of engagement and education rather than dealing with the perpetrators with any police powers!
“I hope that kids using that park from the moment they could sit on a swing wouldn’t do this surely?”
It is feared some perpetrators are travelling in to the town from outside.
One of the vandalised trees was found on the railway station.
We have contacted Mr Keane for a comment and are awaiting a reply.