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Rangers to be employed at Finsbury Park in response to police concerns over crime

PUBLISHED: 10:36 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 04 April 2019

Finsbury Park.Picture:Ken Mears

Finsbury Park.Picture:Ken Mears

Archant

Rangers are set to be stationed in Finsbury Park from this month in an effort to drive out criminals, Haringey Council has confirmed.

Two people will be employed to patrol the park, while other appointments will take the total number of workers to 14. It is not known what enforcement powers they will have yet.

The move comes as a direct response to recommendations made by police early last year after they carried out an audit with the council and members of the local area.

Campaigners have been calling for increased security and safety measures at the park for years.

The issue was brought into the spotlight after 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos was murdered by Kasim Lewis while walking home through the park on Christmas Eve in 2017.

In the wake of her death Iuliana’s heartbroken friends campaigned for the gates to be locked at dusk and for improved safety in the park, leading to the audit.

On the back of that, police officers made a host of recommendations to the council to improve safety – one of which was locking the gates at night to “prevent people using the park in the dark and putting themselves at risk”.

Other recommendations including improving boundary fences, redesigning bins and installing better lighting.

Following the report being handed to the council a woman was raped in the park last summer, while drug dealing is still rife around the art club hut and recently four cyclists were mugged on their way home from work.

The council said in December it was still considering what actions to take following the audit, including looking at the possibility of closing the gates, and said for the first time that chiefs were considering employing a park manager and two rangers.

Simon Hunt, chair of the Friends of Finsbury Park campaign group, welcomed the news and said he was glad to see some of the money made from events being reinvested at the park.

“There have been discussions around security improvements on the back of the audit,” he said. “I don’t know the details but I’ve heard they will be dedicated to Finsbury Park, which is good news.”

Haringey’s environment chief Cllr Kirsten Hearn said: “The two full-time rangers will boost our presence in the park every day and will have a focus on safety and the park’s upkeep.

“It is one of the measures in response to the police audit last year.

“We will be consulting with park users and the local community on further measures at the park in the coming weeks.

“Our parks are safest when there are people in them – we want to hear residents’ views on how to get the best out of one of our most used parks.”

What do you think about the measures? Email Sam Gelder or call 020 7433 0104.

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