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Citizens UK Peterborough puts forward plans for Central Park

Calls for greater lighting and an increased CCTV presence in Central Park have gathered pace following a tour of hotspots.
TDA outside
One of the 'hotspots' - Park Crescent, outside TDA

Since its formation last September Citizens UK Peterborough has focused on a number of issues including mental health provision in the city and crime and safety.

Much of the latter has focused on Central Park and some of the roads around it after it was identified by Thomas Deacon Academy (TDA) students as an issue of concern for antisocial behaviour and drugs.

Incidents generally occur in the evening and night but in the day the park is renowned as one of the beauty spots of the city, with a host of interesting events planned for the remainder of the year including pet shows and music festivals in the hope that it can become a true multi-use venue for Peterborough.

Alliance members including Peterborough Matters, Unison members, treasurer of Friends of Central Park Judy Jones and TDA staff James Mepham and Kelly Joiner were joined by Peterborough City Council officers and Nigel Simons, the cabinet member for the environment.

The group walked from Willow Cafe in the centre to Prince's Gardens, and then around the inside perimeter of the Victorian park. 

Crime data shows that in the last two years there has been at least one sexual offence or violent crime reported outside TDA/Park Crescent, with three in January alone, and the alliance would like CCTV and/or extra lighting positioned nearby.

Anther area where lighting will be looked at is the corner of Park Road and Princes Gate where at present foliage is obscuring the beam - Simons said that the lighting in the park could be adjusted for each individual light.

The group heard that the park previously had a specific ranger who often dealt with issues, often before they occurred, because he knew many of those who frequently used the area.  

The team and officers will continue to work together, pool expertise and look into submissions for possible funding - potentially for other areas of the city as well.