Page last updated at 19:54 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 20:54 UK

Play area security guard proposal

Thatcham play park
Play parks around Thatcham could soon be patrolled by guards

Private security guards could be patrolling children's play parks and public areas in a Berkshire town during the night in a bid to fight crime.

Thatcham Town Council is in talks with a security firm to set up patrols focusing on reducing criminal damage, graffiti and nuisance to residents.

Hotspots have been pinpointed which will be targeted under the plan.

Councillors claim the move will save the town money by cutting the amount currently being spent on repairs.

Councillor Lee Dillon said: "Every time there is criminal damage we have to pay to get the park and swings put back.

"What we are hoping is that by having security guards stopping the anti-social behaviour we are making a saving for the residents of Thatcham.

"It will mean the maintenance budgets for the parks will hopefully not have to be used so much."

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