Updated 01 August 2003, 16.54
Loads of kids have said they are put off hanging out in their parks because gangs of older kids often take over the area.
What about your local park? Is it a great place to play, or is it ruined too?
The park is destroyed by stupid gangs who think its so funny 2 put their names on wings and write down who they fancy nd who they think r so gud
Ruth, 13, Leeds
Our local park would be great if it weren't for vandals, etc. In summer you can go there for a while, as long as you stay away from the benches under the slide because there's always kids smoking and drinking there, sometimes there's adults too. You can try and play on the swings and slides but you have to leave before the older kids come coz they'll chase you off anyway. It isn't fair: it's OUR space for kids OUR age and we shouldn't have to leave just coz some kids decide to come kick us out!!!!
Lauren, 12, Northampton
Vandals have ruined our park! The council took away the slide and changed the swings! All coz of vandals! We still play there but it isn't as good as it woz!
Becci, 13, Swindon
The parks near me are not too bad. There's some graffiti, but nothing really offensive. The teenagers in my neighbourhood have better things to do then hang out in parks. If they do give me a hard time, I just tell them to get lost.
Holly, 13, USA
My local park recently got a new climbing frame and the day it was unveiled the thing was full of names and even though the council has tried to fix it up before I guess they've just given up.
Jill, 13, Glasgow
Older kids hang around, but I don't think they do anything to other people. Everything is graffitied though.
Anjali, 12, Luton
My local park does not have Gangs hanging about in it but at night they go in and drink alcohol and draw on the climbing frames so they're dirty and there's glass everywhere.
Olivia, 12, Matlock
Vandalism is a big problem in local parks. Wherever you go there is bound to be a park with graffiti and rubbish throughout it. I used to live in Chester, and in some of the parks there it was horrible. Scallies would hang round, intimidate you, and tease you. So I do think that gangs scare people out of their local parks, but nothing can be done. A curfew can't be put on every child, telling every scally and gang that they can't go to their park. It's not always their faults, so stop blaming them! Not every gang of kids is bad.
Cat, 12, Wales
My local park is fun to hang out in with my friends but recently a gang of vandals chased us out throwing stones. I haven't been there since. I hope something will be done to ensure my park is a safe place.
Laura, 13, Belfast
My local park suffers from old drunks, run down play areas and vandalisim from large gangs. Not what I would call a safe place for me and many other people.
Nicola, 12, London
My mum complained about the violent gangs that are around our park and still nothing has been done to stop the graffiti or the gangs.
Elliott, 11, Little Sutton
Our nearest park is clean and tidy with park keepers patrolling but it's a mile and a half away so we can't go by our selfs.
Naomi, 11, Uttoxeter
I never go to my local park because the facilities are all vandalised and there are always older people hanging around there drinking, smoking and yelling abusive comments. I know that they have every right to be there but there must be something the government could do about this like having wardens around.
I'm in a gang myself and we don't do anything wrong!! I mean, is it illegal 4 a group of friends 2 hang out at the park???
Louise, 12, Ashford
There are always gangs around at the parks, it gets me and my mates quite scared.
Katie, 11, St Helier
Round the corner from me is a play centre which has a huge adventure park. Loads of older teenagers go there and smoke and drink and recently a fight broke out there and someone was stabbed. I don't really go there anymore but there's nothing to do and no-where to go.
Lauren, 12, Glasgow
The swings are covered in youths snogging!! It is sickly, would we, or our parents, want 2 play in such a place??!!
Jo, 11, Croydon
I agree with Ryan, local parks are always being vandalised and no one bothers to fix them. This puts me off from going to the park, which is a shame!!
Louise, 11 ,Wigan
My local park is quite clean because there are enough wardens working there and there is also a good local youth club so children have somewhere else free to hang out.
Bethan 13, Cardiff
I feel intimidated by older youths when I go out. When they are in a gang, they always try to act tough and if I go to my local park, they try to scare younger children and sit there smoking, swearing and being very anti social. The government needs to put extra cash into kids' facilities and make them a lot, lot better.
Ash, 11, Geddington
I love the gangs in my park, they are really cool. So what if they scare the little children? They have the right to do what they like. It's not like it's illegal to hang out in a gang in the park, is it? Anyway, they are hot, so ya know!
Candy, 13, East London
The park near us is always getting vandalised. Then nobody bothers to do anything about it. Also, some people are too scared to go there any more because there's big gangs of 16-year-old boys hanging round it.
Sarah, 14, Oxfordshire
Yep, every time something new comes along, 2 seconds later it's graffitied. It's put loads of kids off.
Sophie, 11, Gosport
Me and my mates never hang out at the park - we don't like facing the gangs, so we hang out at the shops instead. At least that way, if you feel unsafe there are lots of good people to look over you.
Vicki, 12, Oxfordshire
I hate going down to my local park I always feel really scared when I go there because some of the teenagers that hang aroud in gangs always shout really offensive things to me. I wish that they wouldn't vandalise all of the climbing frames as well because all we have left now is a slide and a bar to swing on.
Laura, 13, Wigan
The park next to our school is horrible. All of the smokers and bad kids hang out at the benches next to the entrance and call people names. I think in parks like these, some sort of watcher should be there to let the others have fun.
James, 13, Ettrick
Local parks are always being vandalised so no one bothers to fix them up. Then gangs of older people hang out there and graffiti everywere and leave broken glass, so children never bother with it anyway.
Ryan, Guest Editor
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