Local Parks among Safest in London

Brook Green and Normand Park win prestigious award

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Two of Hammersmith and Fulham's loved parks have won a prestigious safety award.

Normand Park in Fulham and Brook Green in Hammersmith were both given the coveted Silver Safer Park Award at a special awards ceremony at City Hall on Monday, February 27.

Closer working between residents, the police and the council is one of the main reasons why they have been named amongst the safest open spaces in London. Oour borough also has its own council funded Parks Constabulary dedicated to keeping parks and open spaces safe and free or crime.

H & F Council says that in Normand Park on Lillie Road, crime has fallen by more than 50% in last two years, with 18 crimes in 2009 and only seven in 2011.

That is partially because the Parks Constabulary has been carrying out more targeted patrols. The officers also work closely with the Friends of Normand Park, a group of local volunteers who help preserve and enhance the park.

Lesley Thomas, of the Friends of Normand Park, said: "We are delighted that the park won the award. The friends group attracts a lot of local people from all different walks of life.

"Once everyone gets to know each other they tend to have more respect for the park and treat it as its own. It is that sense of ownership that has led to a reduction in crime in the park.

"The Parks Constabulary is also very good and the officers are very quick to respond if there is anyone acting suspiciously in the park."

In Hammersmith's Brook Green, there were only seven recorded crimes last year. The green also has a very active friends group that works hand-in-hand with the Parks Constabulary.

Jason Eker, of the Friends of Brook Green, said: "The group only formed two years ago but we have really managed to get the community involved during that time. We have held two Brook Green open days and they have helped us to raise awareness about the green. The council will be redeveloping the play area later this year and that will no doubt help to keep the green safe."

Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for residents’ services, said: " I am delighted that these two parks are amongst the safest in London. It is a fact of life that parks can attract antisocial behaviour but this council works tirelessly with the police and residents to ensure our open spaces are as free of crime as possible.

"Parks visitors should rest assured that our dedicated Parks Constabulary will continue to put all its effort into fighting crime and keeping our parks safe."

The Parks Constabulary consists of one inspector, 15 constables and three sergeants, who provide a uniformed patrol service for the borough’s 54 parks, open spaces and cemeteries. The constabulary operates 365 days a year. Patrolling starts at 8am daily and finishes at midnight during the summer months, and at 10pm during the winter months.

To contact the Parks Constabulary call 020 8753 5999 or email parksconstabulary@lbhf.gov.uk

February 29, 2012