Arrest of three boys over killing of chickens in Eaton Park sparks concern over rise in anti-social behaviour

City councillor Judith Lubbock in Eaton Park. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

City councillor Judith Lubbock in Eaton Park. Pic: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The arrest of three boys after chickens were stolen and killed in a Norwich park has prompted a councillor to say anti-social behaviour in the area is the worst she has known in more than 20 years.

Rugge Drive in Norwich, where three boys were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. Pic: Dan Grim

Rugge Drive in Norwich, where three boys were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. Pic: Dan Grimmer. - Credit: Archant

Police were called to Eaton Park at about 7am yesterday after reports that three boys were attacking bantam chickens.

Two of the birds were found dead in the park.

A 12-year-old and two 15-year-olds were arrested in nearby Rugge Drive in the afternoon on suspicion of animal cruelty, following police investigations.

The trio were taken to Aylsham Police Investigation Centre to be questioned, with police believing the chickens had been stolen from a home close to the park.

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And Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton and a member of the Friends of Eaton Park group, said it was the latest example of increasing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the park and the surrounding area.

She said: 'In all the 23 years I have a been a councillor, we have never had so much anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in and around the South Park Avenue area. These are people who have no idea of the way to behave.'

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Mrs Lubbock, a former Lord Mayor of Norwich, said: 'We are becoming increasingly worried about the levels of this sort of behaviour.

'We have had bricks thrown through bus shelters and it is sad to see that parts of the pavilion have had to be boarded up because of vandalism, while a window at the community centre has been broken recently.

'We feel there should be greater co-ordination between the city council and the police. A lot of people have been reporting incidents and, over the past year, it's really becoming obvious that these incidents are on the increase.' She added Eaton would miss their police community support officer. Norfolk police last month axed the role as part of plans to save £10m over two years, although some have become police officers instead.

And inspector Mike Austin, local commander for Norwich South, said: 'There has been a rise in anti-social behaviour in and around the park recently, which is traditionally seen with the arrival of lighter evenings and better weather.

'We are working with partners to ensure Eaton Park is a safe place to visit and will be focusing patrols in this area to deter anti-social behaviour and will take immediate action against anyone found breaking the law, making arrests where necessary.'

Norfolk police officers are keen to hear from anyone who saw the killing of the chickens or who has any information about it.

Anyone with information should contact PC Lee French at Earlham Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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