CCTV cameras and lights could be installed in Cardiff parks to improve safety
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
CCTV cameras and lights at night could soon be installed in parks in Cardiff in a bid to improve safety.
Last year saw several violent incidents in Bute Park, including the alleged murder of a doctor in July and a vandalism spree causing thousands of pounds worth of damage in September.
Now Cardiff council is exploring how to make the city’s parks safer, including offering financial rewards for information on vandalism attacks, and locking the gates to Roath Park.
The council’s cabinet will hear a report on potential safety measures on Thursday, January 20.
Councillor Peter Bradbury, cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “Cardiff’s parks have always been safe places where people can go to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s really important they remain so.
“This report will pave the way to help us fully understand the potential impact that lighting and any other additional safety measures like CCTV and a return to locking certain parks at night might have on our parks and on the people who use them.”
Large parts of Bute Park were cordoned off by the police in July after the assault on Dr Gary Jenkins, who died in hospital shortly afterwards. Three people were charged with murder and a trial is due to start next week.
Vandals then damaged more than 50 trees in Bute Park in September, as well as ripping bins out, and destroying planters. Blackweir Bridge was also forced to close twice due to burnt out motorcycles left on the bridge.
Later that month about 300 people took part in a march to ‘reclaim Bute Park’, protesting against the recent violent incidents in the park and calling for action to improve safety.
As well as installing CCTV cameras, the council is now planning to hire four more park rangers, boost the membership of the Friends of Bute Park group and other Friends groups, and put up lighting in certain areas including along cycling routes.
Consultations will also be held on whether to start locking the gates at night of Roath Park and Parc Cefn Onn in Lisvane. These used to be locked at night before the pandemic, but were left unlocked as the number of people visiting parks increased during lockdowns.
Cllr Bradbury said: “Our ‘Friends of’ volunteer groups are vital in the management and development of our parks and green spaces, and we want to help grow and support them in what they do.
“We will also consult and work with residents on any changes or proposals which might affect them, so our parks can continue to be enjoyed by everyone.”
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