Ask Labour's candidate as Council 'sacks' Parks Police
Christian Klapp, Labour’s candidate in the Putney council by-election on 30th
June, has asked the Police Borough Commander for a guarantee that
Wandsworth Park, Leader’s Gardens and Putney Cemetery will continue to
be locked at night and patrolled by day when the council sacks all 24 of its
Parks Police officers.
The axing of the Parks Police was agreed by the Council at a committee
meeting on 5th April. The plan is to exchange 24 sacked Parks Police Officers
for 8 full Metropolitan Police Officers paid for by council taxpayers but
managed by the Met. Lose 24 and maybe gain 8; not
exactly a healthy exchange rate. Redundancy payments for the 24 Parks Police officers wipe out all “savings” the council
anticipates for at least three years
“The prospect of large unlit spaces like Wandsworth Park and
Leader’s Gardens being open to all at night is worrying and potentially very
unsafe. And it comes hot on the heels of the council plan to make children
pay to play at our parks – an idea that has been criticised even by Education
Secretary Michael Gove MP.
“Our part of Putney already has the highest crime in the whole borough so
the last thing we need is extra anti-social behaviour, crime and vandalism at
night in our parks and cemeteries.
“That’s why I’ve written to the Borough Commander asking him for the clear
commitment that when he’s responsible for our parks he’ll guarantee they’ll
stay locked and secure at night. I don’t understand why Putney’s existing
councillors didn’t seem to think this critical question should be answered
before they agreed to sack all our Parks Police officers.
“This is yet another reason why Putney needs an independent voice on the
council. I can be that voice asking the tough questions but for that I need
Putney to lend me its votes and send me to the Town Hall.”