Queen’s Gardens, the much-reduced open space in the town centre, soon to be made into a quasi-private park for the residents of a tower block, is to get an extra security camera to, in the words of the council, “help prevent anti-social behaviour and assist the police in detecting criminal offences”.
The council made the announcement yesterday, claiming, “Residents called for the camera following their concerns about anti-social behaviour and safety in the park.”
It would interesting to find out who those residents are who are concerned about “safety in the park”, since Inside Croydon has spoken to some park users who are more worried about the lack of safety in the park.
Some at the council say that it is “the behaviour by a small minority is making people feel uncomfortable and unsafe”.
There is a suggestion that some of the homeless people who gather in and around Queen’s Gardens may have been subjected to threats, even physical assault.
Croydon Nightwatch is the borough’s longest established charity working with the homeless, providing hot food and support at Queen’s Gardens every evening. Jad Adams, Nightwatch’s chair, today welcomed the additional CCTV camera.
“Homeless people are at a greater risk of attack than other members of the public, so security cover at places where homeless people congregate is welcome,” Adams told Inside Croydon.
There has been an issue with lack of CCTV coverage in Queen’s Gardens for nearly six years, since the demolition of the former council office tower, Taberner House.
“There always was camera surveillance of the gardens when Taberner House was the main council building,” Adams, pictured right, said.
“We at Nightwatch were in contact with the council’s security team if we needed to be. Since the council has moved to Bernard Weatherill House we have not had security cover and we have mentioned it at one of our meetings with council officers.
“We are pleased the Queen’s Gardens is getting security cover, for the sake of our clients and of our volunteers and of members of the public.”
The additional camera in Queen’s Gardens is one of 10 that have been deployed around the borough (initially for three months) to boost the council and police’s ability to respond to problems in areas not covered by the existing CCTV network.
There is also a permanent camera at the Fell Road entrance to the gardens.
The cameras are currently deployed at locations around the town centre including High Street, Katharine Street, North End, Poplar Walk and Surrey Street, as well as in Brook Road, Thornton Heath; Broom Road, Shirley; Green Lane, Norbury; and Oakfield Road, Broad Green.
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