Councillor’s call for action over assaults, vandalism and ‘increasing criminal activity’ at Dane Park

Cllr Gary Taylor wants action over the increase in criminal incidents at Dane Park

Dane Valley ward councillor Gary Taylor says police and the Thanet Community Safety Partnership must take action after a catalogue of incidents at Dane Park.

In the past two months there have been assaults, fires, vandalism and issues with Traveller encampments at the Dane Road park.

The historic site has been used by the public since opening in 1896 and has been the focus of a community tree planting effort.

It also has the grounds of Thanet Colts youth football club which recently merged with Ramsgate FC youth.

Cllr Taylor is due to bring the issue up at a Thanet council meeting on July 9 when he will ask for action due to “increasing criminal activity and anti social behaviour notably in Dane Park and parts of Dane Valley.”

Yesterday two 13-year-old girls were attacked by a large group of teenagers and earlier this month police cordoned off part of the park after a reported sexual assault.

Cllr Taylor said: “The park has many positives and has been a lovely open space to exercise or relax, really noticeably during lockdown. Hundreds of trees have been planted, bringing our community together, plus there are wonderful volunteers who help litterpick. I want Dane Park, which was given to the people of Margate many years ago, to be simply safer and an enjoyable place to be.

“But yesterday we had a horrible attack on innocent young people who had been enjoying Dane Park. A few weeks ago there was a sexual assault by the children’s playground. Another assault also took place on a lady who had been sitting on a bench.

“There has also been bullying and intimidation of young people just walking through the park by other youths.

“A couple of Thanet council bins have been set alight maliciously and through stupidity with a portable barbecue. Last weekend an attempt was made to break into the Dane Park Kiosk.

“From time to time stolen mopeds and motorcycles have been found burnt out. In certain areas of the park we still have needless littering and the bottle bank in Park Crescent Road at the  edge of the park suffers constant fly-tipping by it.

“Some of the tree cages have been vandalised, causing one dog recently to rip his body on protruding metal wire.

“On top of all this we recently had  Travellers descend onto Dane Park with 26 caravans, which caused mayhem and angered law abiding residents.

“ I shall be asking next Thursday at full council for the Thanet Community Safety Partnership and the police to put Dane Park on the agenda for discussion and action. Enough is enough.”

Police are investigating yesterday’s (June 29) assault on the two girls. Witnesses can call police on 01843 222289 quoting 29-0826.