|Over 25% of Residents Are Scared to Use Their Local Park|
Fears over safety preventing people from using recreational areas
More than a quarter of residents avoid using local parks because of safety fears according to a survey carried out by the Greater London Authority.
• 27 per cent feared teenagers hanging around
The findings prompted Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to launched the Safer Parks Award to recognise tough measures boroughs and friends of parks groups have taken to reduce crime and anti social behaviour.
A mother of three told ChiswickW4.com: "After my children and I received abuse from teenagers on more than occasion we don't use Southfield Recreation Ground any more which is a shame as it's so close to our home. Dog Watch has made the area a little more friendly, but we prefer to use Acton Green Common as it's more open."
Her views were reiterated by a resident of Grove Park who stopped using Harvard Hill Park after similar experiences.
Boris Johnson said: "We live in one of the greenest capitals in the world, with over 3,000 parks and we all have the right to use them without fear of crime. Parks make a tremendous difference to our quality of life and everyone from early morning joggers, to kids riding their bikes after school should be able to use them with confidence.
"My award will recognise the hard work that goes on across London to keep our parks free of crime. From cutting down hedges to increase visibility, to installing CCTV and strong lighting, little things can make a big impact on safety and deter criminality. If you have noticed improvements that have revitalised your park, then it’s high time we praised the people who made this happen.”
Applications must be made online at www.london.gov.uk/saferparks. Applications can be submitted from 30 November 2010 and all entries must be received by the 31 January 2011 (final deadline).
Successful applicants will receive a Mayor’s Safer Parks Award plaque to display in the park, a certificate and logo to use on websites, letterheads and publicity materials for a 12 month period. A tool-kit containing useful marketing information will also be available for successful parks.
October 15, 2010