Finsbury Park to stay open at night, with CCTV in use soon

The southern Finsbury Park gates at Seven Sisters Road 

The southern Finsbury Park gates at Seven Sisters Road - Credit: Google

CCTV will be operational soon in Finsbury Park, but the gates will not be closed at night, despite a recommendation in a 2020 report.  

Residents have called for action to make the park safer, with two rapes reported in the last six months, but Haringey Council said there are no plans for night-time closure.

Haringey’s 2020 Park Management Plan for Finsbury Park – amended in January 2021 – recommended “a new policy is implemented to ensure that the park is closed and fully secured at a single designated time”, to help combat crime. 

However, an earlier consultation with residents in June 2019 found that only 48% of respondents supported locking the gates, so the proposal was dropped. 

Alicia Clarke, 24, who lives in Manor House told the Ham&High: “I never walk through the park at night.”  

She added: “Closing the gates may seem like a small change but it would help prevent others from becoming just another statistic.”

Olivia Ronan, 24, who also lives near Finsbury Park, said: “I’m tired of the onus being put on women. There has to be a balance, there should be more of a push for the council to put measures in place in the park that will protect everyone.” 

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An analysis of crime figures published by the met police suggests there were at least 77 violent and sexual offences reported in and immediately around Finsbury Park between September 2020 and September 2021. 

This month, police received another report of rape in Finsbury Park, understood to have happened in the early hours of October 14.

Haringey Council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said: “We remain committed to ensuring the safety of our residents who use Finsbury Park for their enjoyment, exercise and to socialise."

She said the recommendations in the 2020 management plan "are not entirely reflective of the broad range of stakeholder views on closing the park or – in fact – the way in which the public actually use this green, open space”.

As fewer than half of residents in the consultation supported a locking policy, she said, it was not introduced at that time. 

CCTV cameras will shortly be operational and will be monitored around the clock, and the council said it will engage with park users about its effectiveness. The council plans to install more LED lighting and says it has increased staff presence.

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