Sunderland Councillors have condemned the rise of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in Barnes Park, which threatens to ruin one of the city’s most scenic public spaces.

Barnes Ward councillor, Antony Mullen, has called for immediate action to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Barnes Park area following a recent spike in residents’ complaints.

Locals have reported gangs assembling in the park extension in early hours of the morning, vandalism of the park’s furnishings, and substance abuse (including the use of ‘laughing gas’, evidenced by the disposal of nitrous oxide canisters throughout the park).

Cllr Mullen has asked the Council’s West Area team to examine the possibility of installing CCTV in the area, particularly to tackle the sale and use of drugs.

The Conservative candidate for Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Duncan Crute, has backed the call and wants to see the police do more to cut crime in the area.

He and Cllr Mullen visited the area on 16th July to speak to residents and families in the park about their concerns.

Mullen, stated: “I am working closely with Council ASB officers and our partners in Northumbria Police to halt the recent rise in reports of criminal activity in the area.

“I have requested that Barnes’ Walk and Talk funding is used to install CCTV in the area so that criminal activity is documented and acted upon.

“I want this to be a ‘no go’ area for gangs, drugs users and vandals.”

Duncan Crute, Conservative candidate for Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Users of the park and the residents who live around it should not have to put up anti-social behaviour or see discarded drugs paraphernalia littered around.

“These are exactly the issues I want to deal with. I want to cut all aspects of crime.”