Park Life – Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour in Open Spaces

The project started in 2006.
Last review: December 2010.

 

Parkl Lfe was initiated as a result of a 2005 survey, which identified Lower Morden ward as having the second highest fear of crime in the borough, despite having the lowest level of actual crime.

A public consultation exercise with residents and local young people found the cause to be King George’s Playing Field, a park situated in the centre of the ward. There was increasing youth disorder in the park and in the streets around it, as it had become a focus for the gathering of local youths to drink and smoke cannabis. The quiet residential streets in the vicinity became awash with graffiti. A park ranger living in a tied house in the park was subject to frightening victimisation.

Funding was acquired through the formation of a resident-owned “Friends of King George’s Park” group to replace the fence for the 1.5km perimeter of the park with a 2.7m high ultramodern variant. Resident Action Groups were formed around existing Neighbourhood Watches and alley gates installed.

Diversion and engagement of the youths in the park took place, led by the Safer Neighborhoods Police team but with assistance from youth outreach workers, and “Reclaim the Park” events took place, including several youth football tournaments organised by the local police team. A youth club was established in the park.

To ensure we were able to monitor the impact of the partnership-led interventions and assess changes in perception in the area, a number of key objectives were set and base line figures established early on in the project:
    - Reduce fear of crime of local residents in Lower Morden by 5%
    - Reduce the number of call outs to the Police from the park and vicinity by 10%
    - Reduce graffiti callouts by 10%
    - Hold two community events in the park
    - Install four alley gates in the surrounding alleyways

 

The project started in 2006.
Last review: December 2010.