Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 12:53 UK

Family's fears over park violence

Baxter Park
The family have witnessed attacks and gang battles

Fears have been raised about the safety of young people using a Dundee park after a teenager was attacked.

A family living by Baxter Park has said the assault and robbery of a 15-year-old on Monday was just the latest in a long line of incidents.

They claimed to have seen adults attacking youngsters, dogs used to intimidate children and gang battles.

The Campbell family said better lighting, more police patrols and CCTV cameras were needed.

Cory Douglas Campbell told the BBC Scotland news website that the majority of local youths who visit the park were completely respectful towards them and did not want to get into trouble.

However, he is concerned about some of the violent attacks that have happened.

"It really got out of hand here a few months ago when the knives were out and the weapons were out and that was getting quite scary," he said.

The family have had people coming to their door asking for help after assaults in the park and once a youngster hid in their garden for two hours because he was too afraid to leave as a battle was going on outside.

Faeces on the door
The Campbells had faeces smeared on their door

And although most of the youngsters do behave, a group of children once put faeces through their letter box and smeared the mess across their door.

Mr Campbell said they had often thought about moving but it was supposed to be their dream home.

He said: "We have three young children and it's just a magical place for them to grow up - there's concerts here, they can ride their bikes and they can rollerblade.

"We keep them very isolated from all these problems, although my daughter, who's nine, has already given two police statements and my son, who is seven, has also given police statements for witnessing some of these things going on here at night.

"It's a real magical place during the day and then as soon as it gets dark it's just abandoned until the next day.

"It's like something out of a horror movie."

Nails
Hundreds of burnt nails were once left in the park

The family said that often police just moved youngsters from place to place, rather than giving them something to do.

Lisa Campbell, the children's mother, believes it would help if more facilities were created within the park - such as a skate park, or a basketball court, or five-a-side pitch.

She also wants to see safety measures installed, such as better lights and CCTV.

She said: "At night-time the youths run the park, because the kids are in charge.

"Very few adults come into the park when it's dark and if they do they hang by the outer edges where there's street lighting.

"They just don't know what's going to be down in the recesses where there is no lighting and it's just a concern because this beautiful park really should be protected for anybody to use anytime of the day."

A police spokeswoman said that Baxter Park had been improving and that a number of people had been charged in connection with incidents in the park.



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