TEENAGED couples are openly having sex in public at a town centre beauty spot, it has been claimed.
Two young couples were seen only yards from the children’s play area at Mesnes Park early on Saturday evening, say the Mesnes Conservation Protection Group.
The group is now making a complaint to Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust asking for greater security on the site, which has just landed a huge Heritage Lottery grant to return it to its former splendour.
The group claims lewd behaviour, coupled with increasing incidents of drunken rowdiness, is preventing parents from bringing children to the park.
They have also warned of an increase in vandalism and attacks on the Play Shack and bandstand, which is being restored.
Group spokesman Brian Parr said: “A security man for the construction company reported two couples having sex near the children’s playground on Saturday.
“The perception we are getting is of widespread alcohol drinking by teenagers, and intimidation of parents taking their children to the playground because of the situation with beer-swilling teenage yobs.
“There is also growing misuse of the Bowling Greens for football, both when the park staff are present and after 4.30 pm when it becomes a free-for-all with more teenagers having sex in a public place.
“It’s time for a clamp down and enforcing a penalty of spot fines for alcohol consumption,
“We need a strong deterrent for all this thoughtless anti-social behaviour, otherwise we can only see it becoming more prevalent over the Summer months with sunset arriving later.”
Mr Parr said that a number of residents had made complaints to the Conservation Group and they were encouraging them to make complaints to the authorities to keep up the pressure for more action.
He is calling for the Trust to extend their park ranger presence at Mesnes Park to 9pm each evening to try to discourage the bad behaviour.
The subject of current misuse of the park will be a lead item on the agenda of their latest meeting at Wigan Cricket Club on Wednesday (May 18).
A spokesman for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, who manage the facility on behalf of the council, said that it had not received any reports of sexual activity taking place in public at Mesnes Park.
He said: “Over the last few weeks there has been a rise in anti-social behaviour at Mesnes Park on a Friday and Saturday evening which has included criminal damage, littering and underage drinking.
“We have informed Greater Manchester Police and they are investigating. Our parks are public open spaces that are there to be enjoyed and not abused.
“We would encourage everyone who uses them to have pride in their parks.”