Harold Hill residents call for CCTV cameras to be installed at vandalised park

Central Park in Harold Hill

Central Park in Harold Hill - Credit: Archant

Frustrated residents are calling for CCTV to be installed at a park in Harold Hill that has become blighted by vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Central Park, in Gooshays Drive, has seen incidents of criminal damage, fires, knife crime and violence in the past year according to nearby resident Chris Cooper who has set up a petition calling on the council to install cameras in the park.

“The petition was started by myself on behalf of a resident Michael Cook. Many residents have had to witness abuse whilst using the park’s facilities,” said Chris.

“There have been reports of bullying, theft, criminal damage, fires to equipment and knife crime.

“I see many residents debating and posting the incidents on the Harold Hill Community Page on Facebook. The residents have had enough and this is why they are signing this petition.”

The petition was set up on Saturday and has already gained 446 signatures with more than 250 people signing it in the first 24 hours.

Sally Searle, from Romford, is backing the petition as she believes the situation at the park is getting out of hand and fears the problem could escalate unless something is done soon.

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“I’ve lived here all my life, 46 years, and I can’t believe the change. It’s getting terrible, it’s not safe for children, something needs doing before people start doing something themselves - then that would be a huge problem.”

Victoria Connolly, from Noak Hill, called for more patrols as well as CCTV.

“This is the best play park in Harold Wood and the children of this area deserve to be able to play in the park safely,” said Victoria. “Parents should not have to feel worried for their safety because of the behaviour of some youths. CCTV and patrols are obviously necessary.”

However some residents say they avoid the park and have stopped their children from going there. Many of them welcome any move that would act as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour.

Pensioner Marion Harrop, from Romford, said: “If nothing’s done it will just be for criminals, and we pay for this.”

You can sign the petition here http://bit.ly/2upFRLm.