A MOTHER-of-two says she wants to see CCTV installed at a skate park in a bid to slash assaults and anti-social behaviour.

Stephenie Gilder, of Witham, has launched a petition calling on Braintree Council to put cameras in place at the park off Spa Road in the town.

She said the attack on a transgender teenager in nearby Ness Walk nearly two weeks ago was a key reason for beginning the petition.

But an assault on a close friend’s daughter in the park in January was the incident which first sparked the idea.

Stephenie said: “My friend’s daughter was assaulted but because there’s no evidence of what happened there’s nothing that can be done.

“We have to get something over there to try and stop what’s going in Witham at the moment.

“I’ve been in Witham for more than 40 years and it certainly feels as though things have been getting worse lately in terms of assaults and anti-social behaviour more generally.”

Her petition has so far had more than 280 signatures and Stephenie said she is hoping even more residents will get involved.

She said: “I am over the moon with the amount and I’m hoping to get more – the support is really overwhelming.”

A teenager also suffered minor injuries during a knife attack which took place along the River Walk, in Witham, last Wednesday afternoon.

Head of the Witham Neighbourhood Watch group Tina Townsend said: “Sadly this area is a place which is known for anti-social behaviour, so installing cameras will hopefully act as a deterrent.

“It’s disappointing that as a community people feel we need this to make them feel safe.”

A spokesman for Braintree Council said: “We have not been previously made aware of any issues in this area of Witham and whilst CCTV can be effective to help prevent and tackle crime, there would need to be a strong evidence base to justify investment into CCTV.”

The petition can be viewed at change.org/p/braintree-district-council-cctv-for-spa-road-park.