Threat to parks police gets big response

on

[from Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton Journal]

Threat to parks police gets big response

nlnews@archant.co.uk
13 August 2008

MORE than 500 residents concerned about council plans to cut Haringey’s parks police force have contacted the Liberal Democrats, a councillor claims.

The news comes as Labour-run Haringey Council announced consultation will begin on proposals to axe the parks constabulary and replace it with community policing which, it is claimed, will increase supervision in parks.

But Councillor Ron Aitken, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for policing and community safety, said there was widespread apprehension.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats have had over 500 responses so far from people who say they are very concerned about the parks police being disbanded.”

He added: “We need the parks police and I think the council should lift the threat of disbandment as soon as possible.”

In April this year Haringey Council agreed in principle to cut the dedicated force of 11 staff and introduce a new “Parkforce” model.

Existing Safer Neighbourhoods teams will take on the mantle for policing across five new park zones supported by a Parks Response Unit based at Finsbury Park and managed by the Metropolitan Police.

More frontline staff will also be provided resulting in an extra 17,000 man hours in Haringey parks, the council claims.

Councillor Dhiren Basu, cabinet member for leisure, culture and lifelong learning, said: “The new Parkforce scheme is quite a radical change from our previous staffing and policing system and we would welcome as much feedback as possible on our proposals.

“These plans are all about trying to reduce crime and fear of crime in our parks.”

The deadline for responses to the consultation is Friday, September 26, and a final decision will be taken on whether to cut the constabulary later in the year.

Residents can learn more about the proposals and give their views by:

m Filling out a new online survey at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/parkforce.

m Requesting a hard copy of the survey by calling Haringey’s Parks Service on 020 8489 5662 or e-mailing parks@haringey.gov.uk

m Questionnaires will be made available at cafes in Finsbury Park, Priory Park, Albert Road Recreation Ground and Bruce Castle Museum.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. derek o'driscoll says:

    i urge all residents of haringey to protest robustly against the abolition of your very important ‘park police service’,i live in the london borough of sutton our excellant parks police were scrapped two years ago to save council money.the service was replaced by mostly a pcso safer neighbourhood team which are useless, it is rare to see any officers at all now in our open spaces.the sutton parks police officers were a reguler sight around my borough be them on motorcycle or motor vehicle or on foot, they were a real re-assurance to residants and a deterant to local yobbo’s.they were well respected by their colleagues in the metropolitan police and had the futher unique destiction of being the only council run parks constabulary to be awarded the queens jubilee[2002] medal. ‘haringey’ you will miss your parks police when their gone’ believe me when i say it. best wishes. del o’driscoll

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