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Drunks continue to blight park

Two men were filmed fighting near the park's play area
Two men were filmed fighting near the park's play area

DRUNKS and drug addicts continue to blight a Kent park with residents complaining police patrols are still too scarce.

Two ugly incidents caught on camera on Sunday near a children’s play area in the Dane John Gardens in Canterbury highlight the on-going problems.

In the morning, a man was found unconscious on the ground from a suspected drug overdose and police taped off the area as a potential crime scene while paramedics tried to revive him.

A 37-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of administering a controlled drug and released on bail pending further inquiries.

In the afternoon, two men began fighting, again near the play park, which was also captured on video by a resident.

Police were called and one man was charged with public disorder and is due before Canterbury magistrates on February 13.

But the resident who filmed both incidents was surprised police left the scene without confiscating the alcohol which was being drunk.

The cameraman, who did not want to be identified, said: “I thought it would be the first thing they would do but I was told they didn’t have the powers.”

He added: “I live nearby and regularly walk around the area but very rarely see any police on patrol or the new PCSOs.

“These incidents happened close to the children’s play area which is not very nice for families.”

But city council spokesman Steve James confirmed the park was covered by an alcohol control zone which gave police powers of confiscation.

He added that a new park keeper had been appointed but “it was not his job, or would he be expected, to confront drunks or drug addicts.”

Chairman of the St Mildred’s Area Conservation Society, Liam Cameron, who lives in the Dane John Gardens, said; “Unfortunately, these sort of incidents are still common place.”

Police spokeswoman Jo Robertson said the officer who attended the fight conceded in hindsight that he should have confiscated the alcohol but did not want to aggravate the situation.

She added the PCSO for the area, Sarah Harding, frequently patrolled the park and had developed a good relationship with people in the area.

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