Calls for security in parks
Robyn Rosen A CROUCH End mother has called for heightened park security after the council abolished the parks police. In March the council disbanded the 10-man Parks Constabulary and replaced it with the Parkforce Scheme, which includes a new four person
A CROUCH End mother has called for heightened park security after the council abolished the parks police.
In March the council disbanded the 10-man Parks Constabulary and replaced it with the Parkforce Scheme, which includes a new four person police team who patrol all Haringey parks.
But Debbie Tibber, of Barrington Road, has become increasingly worried after hearing about a number of recent attacks in and around nearby parks, including one on her 14-year-old son.
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"There has been a whole spate of incidents in the last few months," she said. "It's quite horrifying.
"Since they got rid of the park wardens, there is no doubt that there is a more menacing feel in the park, especially after school and when youths are out by themselves," Ms Tibber said.
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"Boys my son's age are not using the park because they are too scared.
"A regular presence of police definitely acted as a deterrent. It's not the same friendly park it has been the last 20 years."
Cllr Ron Aitken, Crouch End councillor and Lib Dem crime spokesman, said: "There are legitimate concerns from local residents that show an increase in crime in Haringey's parks since the council disbanded the parks police.
"As the council has now failed to fully implement replacement schemes local people have no one to turn to."
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, added: "This is a completely unacceptable situation. We fought tooth and nail to stop the disbandment of the parks' police.
"Labour's argument against saving it was the new park protection services they would be introducing. Months later and local residents have neither, and no where to turn when they have concerns about safety.
"Haringey council needs to pull its finger out so people who want to enjoy our local open spaces this summer can do so safely. Doing nothing is not an option."
A council spokesman said that the new scheme is still being rolled out.
He said: "The parks constabulary was disbanded at the end of March and a new team of four community police officers began work immediately, patrolling parks across the borough.
"The broader Parkforce scheme is now being brought into effect.
"Priory Park is also patrolled regularly by the local safer neighbourhood police team.
"Haringey parks are not unsafe, and are used extensively by thousands of people every year.