'One police-logged incident in five years' at former Cleethorpes maze removed due to anti-social behaviour

Gone - the maze at Pier Gardens, Cleethorpes, is no more, removed in early June
-Credit: (Image: Donna Clifford)

A Cleethorpes maze removed primarily on anti-social behaviour grounds had only one police-logged incident in the last five years, according to a Freedom Of Information request.

A maze existed in Pier Gardens until this summer, when it was suddenly completely removed ahead of Armed Forces Weekend. Its removal prompted a backlash from ward councillors and some residents.

In the last five years, there was only one police-logged incident of crime and anti-social behaviour at Cleethorpes Pier Gardens' maze, a member of the public's Freedom Of Information (FOI) request on Whatdotheyknow.com has revealed.

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A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson has said not all anti-social behaviour (ASB) is classed as a criminal offence and revealed the council's street cleansing team "regularly cleared human excrement" from the maze. Regularly reported evidence of vandalism and environmental problems by the council's street cleaning and ground maintenance teams contributed to the decision to ditch the maze.

The FOI request made to Humberside Police requested the number of anti-social behaviour and crime reports that occurred at the maze in the last five years. The police's response confirmed it had recorded one incident in the last five years that occurred within the maze. However, it also advises the council keeps its own anti-social behaviour log.

On the FOI detail, Independents for North East Lincolnshire Group Cllr Paul Bright, who is a member of the council's economy, culture, tourism and green agenda scrutiny panel, said: "A recent freedom of information request submitted to Humberside Police stated 'there has been one incident recorded by Humberside Police as having taken place within the hedge maze specifically, over the last 5 years'.

"This does not align with the recent council press statement of 'significant and sustained' anti-social behaviour. To restore public faith, the council should publish all of the details they hold for anti-social behaviour, which supports the press statement made."

"Not all anti-social behaviour is classed as a criminal offence," said the North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson, after Grimsby Live approached for comment on the FOI result. "North East Lincolnshire Council and Humberside Police work together to tackle ASB in our area. The council lead on investigation and clear up of ASB incidents relating to environment and noise and would only report ASB incidents to the police where they also involve a criminal offence such as arson or criminal damage."

The council's street cleansing and grounds maintenance team had reported "over a number of years" that examples of anti-social behaviour "were a daily occurrence during regular patrols in this area of Cleethorpes". The spokesperson continued: "In that time, they regularly cleared human excrement, litter and drug paraphernalia from areas of Pier Gardens, with specific concentration on the maze.

"There were also numerous cases where they had to repair broken walkway boards that were being damaged by vandals inside the maze structure. It was this regularly reported evidence which contributed to the decision taken.

"As reported, this whole area is part of the major regeneration plans for Pier Gardens and plans, which are currently being finalised, will include consideration for reducing anti-social behaviour in this area."

There were 41 police reports in Pier Gardens between April 2023 to April 2024, according to Police.uk's crime map data. This included 12 incidents categorised as anti-social behaviour, and seven as public order.

Almost £8.5m Levelling Up cash has been allocated by the council to Pier Gardens' rejuvenation, including £2.9m this financial year.