Police: It'd be easier to tackle crime in Finsbury Park if the gate could shut properly
PUBLISHED: 18:08 12 July 2017
Police are being hampered in their attempts to stop crime in Finsbury Park at night - because the Stroud Green Road gate can't be closed when all the others are.
It takes two people to shut the metal fence next to the bike lock-up near the station, but Haringey Council only has one person doing that job.
That means that, unlike all the other entrances to the park, it can’t be closed at dusk.
Police say because of that people are putting themselves at risk by using the park as a shortcut to Finsbury Park station in the dark.
The revelation was made in an email about drug dealers operating near to the Finsbury Park Art Club hut, which is inside the park, yards from the gate.
One officer said the design was “badly planned” and the authorities were looking at paying for another, smaller, gate – either leading to the bigger existing one, or next to it.
Pc Glyn Kelly said: “We have been aware of the problem [drug dealing] for some time and try to get down to the area as often as we can.
“We have arrested people loitering there for possession of cannabis during our patrols recently and generally disrupt them and move them on.”
With just two officers patrolling the area, British Transport Police (BTP) have been helping them out. Plain clothes officers from both forces also make up Operation Hayle, set up to specifically to target drug dealers in Finsbury Park and Turnpike Lane.
“We are in the process of trying to arrange for the gate near Stroud Green Road to be closed at dusk the same as others in the park,” Pc Kelly said.
“We hope this will prevent people using the park in the dark as a shortcut to the station and therefore putting themselves at risk
“This could take time as initial discussions show the gate to have been badly planned.
“It takes two people to shut it and the local authority have only one person closing park gates – therefore it is against health and safety.”
A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “At this stage no plans have been made to change the gate, although we will discuss this idea further with the police.
“We will also continue to work with them to look at other ways of handling drug dealing in this part of Finsbury Park.”