Wardens help create cleaner and safer parks

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Tony Andrews, director of parks and open spaces for St Helier, added that his staff, who have been in place for four months and are on duty seven days a week, had a number of responsibilities including ensuring that habitual drinkers did not get out of control, drug needles were not being left in unsuitable places and checking that dog owners did not let their animals run off their leads.

The two wardens, one of whom is a St Helier honorary police officer, have been put in place at a cost of £67,000.

Mr Andrews said: ‘The main difference is that we have started consulting with individuals who let their dogs run off their leads and those who let their dogs foul on the parks. We have had a few individuals who have not been happy about being approached.

‘The wardens have also been making themselves known to the drinkers and have had to act a couple of times. If there is someone in the park that is starting to look a bit worse for wear the wardens can approach them and put them under pressure to leave the site. It has given us the ability to respond to issues much faster.’

The wardens patrol all of St Helier’s parks including the playground at La Collette, Parade Gardens, the Millennium Town Park, Millbrook and First Tower.

And they have now become more recognisable after donning green jackets and are even sometimes called upon to help the Honorary police carry out their duties.

‘We have had mothers approaching them and saying how good it is that there is someone in the park and that it makes them feel a lot safer. They are both about to be first-aid trained too.

‘An extra part of their work is to assist the honorary police with their duties should they need it. Recently they have been on duty near the Millennium Town Park stopping cars from going down the section which is now closed to traffic.’

Last year, it was reported that the police had dealt with 207 separate incidents in Parade Gardens in 2016 with 76 of those relating to drunken behaviour.

And last month, firearms officers had to be deployed to the area after a man pulled out a kitchen knife during a fight on a Sunday morning.

Mr Andrews added that the new wardens were very approachable and were happy to speak to anyone who had any issues relating to the park.

He said: ‘They are very approachable, they chat with the youngsters in the park and can take action on anything.

‘They often wear body cameras which are a fantastic deterrent to bad behaviour, especially those who might give them verbal abuse. We have not had to use the footage from them yet.’

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