A multi-pronged approach is the way forward for parks, says GreenSpace chief executive Paul Bramhill.
He believes improving the quality of green spaces, involving the community and working effectively with the police can stamp out fear of crime in parks.
His comments were echoed by many of the speakers at the sold-out Making It Safe conference in Birmingham last week.
Bramhill said: “Safety is high on parks managers’ agenda because it has been placed there by government. They’re looking at funding and trying to improve services by whatever means they can. It has always been an issue, but 20 years of decline has created a vicious circle of vandalism, which has reduced the number of users.”
The conference focused on personal safety and strategies for overcoming antisocial behaviour in parks and public spaces. Greater London Authority research has shown many people fear using parks, although statistically fewer crimes are committed in them than in other areas.
Camden council officers Linda Keane and Serene Dixon gave a seminar on how to apply Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) successfully. Bramhill said: “The case put forward was compelling.”
Delegates also visited Birmingham’s Handsworth Park
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