Police order has shifted problem drinkers to new site in Ely, say residents

FOCUSING police attention on anti-social behaviour in the grounds of Ely Cathedral has only served to move the troublemakers to a new site in the city, a residents group has said.

The Stour Green Neighbourhood Watch says since police successfully applied for a Designated Public Place Order for the grounds of the cathedral 12 months ago, the problem drinkers have gradually moved on to Paradise Fields.

In recent weeks, watch members Mark Johnson and Jon Harrop say large groups have been gathering on the fields, adjacent to the Paradise Centre, in the evenings to drink and often leave the field in a mess, with litter strewn everywhere.

Mr Johnson, who lives in Stour Green, said both football and cricket clubs that use the pitch have also been subjected to foul-mouthed abuse by the louts, who he says create an intimidating atmosphere for children.

He said: “I have certainly noticed that things have started to get worse on Paradise Fields since they moved them on from the cathedral.

“I have spoken to a lot of neighbours and residents in the area and they are talking to me about drugs and finding crack pipes and I have had to clean the park up with black bags recently to make it safe for a children’s party.”

Mr Harrop, who loves in Collier Close, added: “We have seen and heard about some really disgusting behaviour on the park and it really takes away from Ely, which is a lovely place to live.

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“I think this is something everyone should be able to get on board with, a project where we can clean up the city.”

The Neighbourhood Watch has attracted 28 followers on social networking site Facebook and Mr Johnson has already taken his case to the City of Ely Forum, the local police, cathedral officials and district councillors.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary declined to comment when contacted by the Ely Standard.

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Have you experienced problems with anti-social behaviour on the Paradise Fields? Send your thoughts to editor@ely-standard.co.uk or write to us at 38 Market Street, Ely, CB7 4LS.