Mayfair residents too scared to let their children use Lions Community Park unattended are among those now optimistic that the community can keep the area safe.

A barbecue held at the park yesterday was the second event where the public were invited to discuss ideas to protect the park.

They were joined by Hastings District Council staff, Police, and Hastings Host Lions Club members.

A resident who did not want to be named said she couldn't send her children to the unsupervised park as a small group were ruining it for all children.

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A replica of the pirate ship destroyed at Splash Planet at Easter had been attacked by vandals twice last year after being installed at the park, and was so badly damaged children were not able to play on it.

But Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Romaine Kiwara said that was just one of an array of issues for the park, and that activity in the area had been horrendous since day one.

Ideas floated yesterday included a large sensor spotlight, rostered Maori wardens, and signage indicating the playground was for children only.

Neighbourhood Support coordinator John Dawson said he had set up six neighbourhood support groups as a result of the two meetings, bringing the number in the Mayfair-Parklands area to 20.