'Wrong' Hanley Forest park clock to be removed

Clock in Central Forest Park The clock had a number of mechanical failures, Stoke-on-Trent City Council said

A clock, designed to stop distraction muggings in a Stoke-on-Trent park, is to be removed because it has shown the wrong time for two years.

The giant digital clock at the Central Forest Park skate plaza in Hanley was installed by the city council in 2008.

It was put up to stop young people getting their mobile phones out when asked the time by robbers who then stole the handsets.

Mechanical failures and power cuts had caused the problem, the council said.

A report to the council said: "Logically, a clock telling the wrong time provides more opportunity for potential phone snatchers to ask someone for the right time."

It said it would be cheaper to remove the clock than repair it.

The authority said the park now had more CCTV in place and lockers had been installed so people using the skate park could lock valuables away.

Ch Insp Martin Brereton from Staffordshire Police said the force was "happy to support this" because extra crime prevention measures had been put in place: "Reports of robbery and theft in the park and the surrounding area have been reducing over the last couple of years."

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