“Who’ll Secure Putney’s Parks At Night?”

Ask Labour's candidate as Council 'sacks' Parks Police


Christian Klapp

Labour's candidate for Thamesfield Councillor

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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

Christian said:
“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.

Christian continued:
“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.”

June 4, 2011