A local resident has hit out at the amount of youths openly smoking cannabis in Grays Town Park and the smell that wafts through the park.
“It’s awful, you see gangs of teenagers visibly smoking weed in the park and you can smell it as you walk through the area. It stinks rotten.
“We need more police; we need the police to patrol our streets again.
“These youths know there is no police doing foot patrols anymore or no cctv so they openly do what they like.”
“Some of them look like they are as young as 12 or 13. Where are their parents? The park in general is now a bit dirty. Lots of rubbish lying around even though there is plenty of bins there.
“Its not a good environment for children to be in.
“The teens smoking weed sometimes even blow the smoke in your face even if you’ve got children with you and there are always people drinking on the benches at all times of day and night.”
The local resident who lives in Grays and did not wish to be named, feels that on the streets now changes need to be made while they still can be.
“Unfortunately we have got to a point where there is a real sense of lawlessness out there. I don’t feel safe walking my dog anymore at the park or for that matter in a lot of places in and around Grays.
“I know it is not the police’s fault, but changes need to be made.
“We pay for basic protection from our police and we don’t get it anymore.
“Our houses are not protected, our vehicles are not protected, if a car gets stolen off a drive way, the police don’t even come out for it.
“In June this year a man was stabbed in the head in the park literally in the middle of the afternoon.
“Yet we still pay for our basic protection that is not happening, ”she said.
Police cuts have caused controversy across the country and local residents are now up in arms at what they believe is an increase in anti-social behaviour.
Local Councillor Russell Cherry told The Enquirer: “I will be starting up the Neighbourhood Watch programme in the Little Thurrock area for anyone who wishes to join please contact me”.
“It’s sad to see how things are now” continued the resident.
“We used to see our police on foot in the town centre and our streets all the time, now we just about see them in cars.
They don’t even come out for some shop thefts and the criminals know this now and take advantage of it,” she added.
Grays Town Park is located in the centre of Grays and is well-used by the local community.
Its 2.5 hectares include a large family play area, a wide grassy area, a basketball court and a tennis court.