Leaving the Bloomsbury squares unlocked at night

cropped-bloomsbury-squares-header.jpgCamden are conducting a trial of leaving the gardens unlocked at night from 30 May to 26 June. If you have any comments that you want to be taken into account before the pilot starts, please share these by email to groundsmaintenance@camden.gov.uk. Any incidents of anti-social behaviour during the pilot period should be reported to the police on 111, or 999 in an emergency.

Camden says: “Our funding from central government will have been almost halved by 2017, so we have some tough choices to make about where we spend our money and how we deliver council services.The current grounds maintenance contract costs £2.5 million a year and comes to an end in March 2017, presenting a good opportunity to consider ways to reduce costs within the next grounds maintenance contract, which will be implemented from April 2017.

As part of these considerations we are exploring a flexible approach to locking parks. This was trialled in December 2015 with a number of our parks left unlocked out of hours to determine if a cost reduction could be achieved without impacting on the service provided to our residents and park users. Parks were monitored during the trial for antisocial behaviour (ASB) that could be attributed to their being left unlocked. The results remained consistent with pre-trial site monitoring and showed a lack of any serious incidents reported.

In view of the limited duration of this trial, as well as park usage dictated by season, a second pilot has been agreed. This pilot will include 60 of our parks across the borough and will take place from 30 May 2016 to 26 June 2016.

During the pilot, parks will be monitored on a site-by-site basis using parks security reports and information gathered from the police through our partners in community safety. We will use this information to analyse whether leaving the parks unlocked leads to increased ASB. Throughout the pilot we will actively respond to any concerns raised or to any increase in ASB and will resume locking on any of the sites should this be required. We are working closely with the Police Safer Neighbourhood teams ahead of the pilot commencing to identify and manage any potential risks.”

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