Shropshire Star

Trafficking, grooming and drug taking reported as women and girls targeted at Shrewsbury's Quarry park

Concerns have been raised over incidents of violence against women and girls in one of Shropshire's most popular parks - including trafficking, grooming and drug taking.

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Security was beefed up in the Quarry in August

Salopians flock to the Quarry, in Shrewsbury, to sunbathe in the summer, for festivals and concerts and for walks by the river all year round.

However, a damning report by Shrewsbury's town clerk says women and girls have been targeted at the park, and there are a number of live police investigations.

The concerning report comes after police confirmed an investigation is underway after a 19-year-old woman reported that she had been raped in a car in Bank Farm Road, Radbrook last Sunday evening.

In the summer, Shrewsbury Town Council ramped up security in the Quarry, doubling the hours that guards are on duty from 30 hours a week to 60 hours a week in August, with a taxi marshal also employed to manage the night time economy. The authority is using £168,000 of a Safer Streets grant from West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion to fund the beefed up security presence.

The report prepared by town clerk Helen Ball said: "As can be seen from the office manager’s Team Shrewsbury report all activity and incidents reported by the Quarry security and taxi marshals are fed into the Team Shrewsbury reporting channels and any key stakeholders are notified.

"Of particular note has been the number of violence against women and girls that have been raised by security staff; these have included potential grooming, indecency, trafficking and general vulnerability from alcohol and drug consumption. In these circumstances police, safeguarding and social services have been informed to progress action and in some circumstances there are live police investigations.

"Youth issues remain a cause for concern and matters have been escalated to the director of public health, particularly around the consumption of alcohol and prescription drugs. Quarry security have been involved in a number of serious incidents in the park.

"On the whole the feeling of safety in park has increased exponentially from local residents, users (old and young) and staff. Security staff are engaging well with all.

"Ongoing discussions are taking place to effectively monitor the (Safer Streets) project so that the true value of this project are known by all. This will also be discussed further when the chief constable and police and crime commissioner visit in December to review the project.

The matter will be discussed at the town council's recreation and leisure committee on Wednesday, November 9.