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Pathways lead to vandalism in Ally Pally grounds

PUBLISHED: 11:55 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:10 07 September 2010

Robyn Rosen OPEN pathways leading to the grounds of Alexandra Palace lead to vandalism, mess and danger, residents claim. The 196 acres of park land which surround the palace are left completely open to visitors day and night. But residents say the entran

Robyn Rosen

OPEN pathways leading to the grounds of Alexandra Palace lead to vandalism, mess and danger, residents claim.

The 196 acres of park land which surround the palace are left completely open to visitors day and night.

But residents say the entrance near to Muswell Hill is close to several bars and nightclubs in Muswell Hill and drunken revellers often end up in the palace grounds late at night.

Ciro Amoruso, manager of the Grove Cafe inside the grounds, said: "Why can't they put a gate there and close it late at night and open early in the morning?

"People coming out of the bars congregate there late at night and drunk people come in and there is mess everywhere in the morning.

"People have come in during the night and burnt my benches and knocked over the statue.

"I'm trying to run a nice family place here but it's hard. Leaving the park open is dangerous.

"This lovely piece of park should be better protected."

Sandra Hart, an assistant at the 345 Preschool based in the grounds, said: "I think it would help if the park was closed at night because people wouldn't get into trouble with drinking in the park.

"It's a lovely park and it's a shame if some people are spoiling it.

"We have had problems here in the past at night where people have broken our fences, and during Easter our door got smashed down and the lock broken."

In 2005, staff at Alexandra Palace discussed the option of closing the grounds at night but decided to keep the area open.

But park manager Mark Evison said there was not a substantial problem to close the grounds at night.

"I'm not aware of anything there substantial at night," he said.

"We have a road and bus routes through the park so if someone gets off the bus late at night, they may find themselves locked in if we had closed gates.

"We have a 24-hour security service at the palace which does night-time patrols and they respond if there is a problem."

Gordon Hutchinson, chairman of the Friends of Alexandra Park, added: "There is a problem, as there is in most parks these days.

"But it is a very big park with numerous ways in and I don't think it's practical to try to close it off at night."

Sgt Simon Carver, from the Alexandra Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team said: "The issue of vandalism and littering in certain areas of the park has been brought to our attention.

"We will continue to patrol the grounds of Alexandra Palace and and we will be working with neighbouring Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, Safer Parks officers and parks management to come up with a solution," he added.


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