Horror as Belsize dog walker told to go 'back to China'

The padlock placed by a member of public at the Camden-owned Primrose Gardens park

The padlock placed by a member of public at the Camden-owned Primrose Gardens park - Credit: Anonymous

A Belsize Park woman was told to "F*** off back to China" when trying to walk her dog in a public park this week. 

The woman – who did not want to be named due to fears around her safety – told the Ham&High a man became aggressive when she and her partner queried why he had padlocked the public park in Primrose Gardens. 

The incident – captured in a video clip shared on social media – has been reported to the police, and Camden Council's community safety team are also aware of the allegations. 

The woman said: "This man has decided to unilaterally lock the park and other residents out. He sat outside the park waiting for dog walkers and gloating and harassing them. When I asked if he locked it, this is the hateful response I got."

She added: "People, especially women have since told us they are scared to go into the area.

"Since Monday, I've been too scared to walk down that road."

She said she believes incidents of an individual padlocking the park – which is Camden-owned – stretch back around a year, and that since posting a video of the abuse on social media, others have come forward with similar experiences.

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The woman's partner added: "I've been racially abused many times and it takes a particular level of hate to get to that level."

Cllr Adam Harrison, Camden's environment chief, said: “Any form of verbal abuse or aggression by members of the public is totally unacceptable and we have reported these incidents to the police and informed our community safety colleagues.

“Primrose Gardens is a much valued small park surrounded by houses. We will work continue to manage the park so it is welcoming and of benefit to the community."

The council said the padlock was removed on May 26, adding it had received reports of dogs barking and an altercation between dog walkers and a member of the public in the summer of 2020. The situation was monitored at that time.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “On Monday May 24 police were made aware of an alleged racially aggravated public order incident next to Primrose Gardens, Belsize Park NW3.

"Officers have since made contact with the victim and are gathering more information so as to investigate the matter thoroughly. In the interim, safer neighbourhood officers will be focussing on the surrounding area to reassure residents and the wider community."