Redbridge park users say fears realised year after police cut

Redbridge Community Safety Team

Frank Middleweek in Roding Valley Park

First published in Your Local Areas by

CRITICS of a decision a year ago to disband a dedicated parks police team have said their worst fears have been realised.

Redbridge Community Safety Team, which is made up of police officers paid for by the council, replaced the unit in October last year to save money.

But the move was met with strong opposition, with park users fearing the new team, which also deals with general anti-social behaviour, licensing and trading standards, would be spread too thinly.

And now those who campaigned against the move say the parks have deteriorated as a result.

Barbara Edwards, 63, of Thorold Road, Ilford collected 3,000 signatures on a petition in an attempt to save the unit.

She said: "There is more drug dealing going on because I see lots of those little cannabis bags.

"There are also more scotch and vodka bottles lying around. I have also seen used condoms lying around by the war memorial and hypodermic needles.

"We used to see the parks police around all the time and they were friendly, but you rarely see the police now."

Frank Middleweek, 67, of Uplands Road, Woodford Bridge, regularly walks his dog in Roding Valley Park.

He said: "The worst thing the council ever did was get rid of the park police.

"Every time we call the police when people cause a nuisance at the bottom of my road they said they would prioritise the problem and four hours later they would turn up.

"The park police would be round in 10 to 15 minutes, the people causing trouble would get their just desserts and that would be the end of it."

However, the council has defended the new unit, saying it has arrested a number of people for offences relating to drugs, prostitution and burglary.

Councillor Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for community safety, said, "The Redbridge Community Police team has been a tremendous success and I will be pushing for this team to continue the excellent work they have carried out in the Borough for future years to come.

"We know that initially some people were sceptical but we are now receiving good feedback from park user groups and residents who have noticed how effective the team has been in keeping the peace, making over 100 arrests and generally making people feel safer especially late into the night at weekends.

The council's £1.5million contract the Metropolitan Police expires in October 2014.

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Comments (3)

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5:32pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Cornbeefur says...

A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included.
A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Tue 30 Oct 12

JackDaniels says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included.
Ha, ha, you're a funny man.
No-one HAS ever asked you, have they?
Nor will they ever be likely to.

Who's wearing the cranberry-tinted glasses now? You're trying to live in a World that no longer exists, trapped in time by your own idealistic views.

The Park attendants are still there, have you been to a park lately? Ever tried chasing off a group of drug sniffing youths waving a garden rake, have you?
Are you going to pay for all these Police? No, thought not.
Why do you think the council picked up the tab for these Police? Because the Met. couldn't.
It's easy to throw stones, finding solutions to problems - not so easy.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included.[/p][/quote]Ha, ha, you're a funny man. No-one HAS ever asked you, have they? Nor will they ever be likely to. Who's wearing the cranberry-tinted glasses now? You're trying to live in a World that no longer exists, trapped in time by your own idealistic views. The Park attendants are still there, have you been to a park lately? Ever tried chasing off a group of drug sniffing youths waving a garden rake, have you? Are you going to pay for all these Police? No, thought not. Why do you think the council picked up the tab for these Police? Because the Met. couldn't. It's easy to throw stones, finding solutions to problems - not so easy. JackDaniels
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Sat 3 Nov 12

Chippyweed says...

JackDaniels wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included.
Ha, ha, you're a funny man.
No-one HAS ever asked you, have they?
Nor will they ever be likely to.

Who's wearing the cranberry-tinted glasses now? You're trying to live in a World that no longer exists, trapped in time by your own idealistic views.

The Park attendants are still there, have you been to a park lately? Ever tried chasing off a group of drug sniffing youths waving a garden rake, have you?
Are you going to pay for all these Police? No, thought not.
Why do you think the council picked up the tab for these Police? Because the Met. couldn't.
It's easy to throw stones, finding solutions to problems - not so easy.
The scheme was branded as a "BOGOF" buy one get one free. But the money used by Boris Johnson for the match funding had been saved from the money paid by the council to the GLA and by us to the council in the first place in Council Tax. So it is therefore a Buy one and Buy another from Boris scheme. Council, wool pulling and eyes springs to mind.
[quote][p][bold]JackDaniels[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: A complete waste of money if you ask me. You need a Park Attendant on a decent wage like you use to have. Police Should patrol everywhere, streets and parks included.[/p][/quote]Ha, ha, you're a funny man. No-one HAS ever asked you, have they? Nor will they ever be likely to. Who's wearing the cranberry-tinted glasses now? You're trying to live in a World that no longer exists, trapped in time by your own idealistic views. The Park attendants are still there, have you been to a park lately? Ever tried chasing off a group of drug sniffing youths waving a garden rake, have you? Are you going to pay for all these Police? No, thought not. Why do you think the council picked up the tab for these Police? Because the Met. couldn't. It's easy to throw stones, finding solutions to problems - not so easy.[/p][/quote]The scheme was branded as a "BOGOF" buy one get one free. But the money used by Boris Johnson for the match funding had been saved from the money paid by the council to the GLA and by us to the council in the first place in Council Tax. So it is therefore a Buy one and Buy another from Boris scheme. Council, wool pulling and eyes springs to mind. Chippyweed
  • Score: 0

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