DCSIMG

Why not spend money on keeping Warwick children safe?

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editorial image

Despite pleas from a councillor, local residents and at least three headteachers, members of Warwick District Council still maintain that no additional lighting is needed in Myton Fields.

Hundreds of children make a daily journey on foot, or bike, along the path through St Nicholas Park, across Charter Bridge and into the adjoining fields where the route becomes more isolated.

Cllr Linda Bromley, who supported local residents in getting two CCTV cameras in the park, has long asked for another two to be installed on the Myton Road side of the park, not only to protect the children but gather evidence of anti-social and sometimes criminal behaviour.

Four years ago some £98,000 was made available by the district council to improve safety in the park through lighting and cameras. Of that at least £19,000 remains and must be ringfenced, rather than be spent on other projects, argues Cllr Bromley, who represents Warwick South.

Earlier this year she left the Conservative party to become and Independent.

And last month she was ordered to appear before the council’s Standards Committee and asked to apologise for the way she tackled issues, including the need for better security in the park.

But this is a matter Cllr Bromley sees as being of crucial significance to people living around the edges of the park.

As well as protecting the cycle route there are serious fears about “boy racers” going into Myton Fields to perform high-speed car stunts which leave many residents fearing for their lives. By the time police arrive the culprits have always driven away.

At the meeting Cllr Michael Coker agreed to treat this as a separate issue and write directly to the police commissioner.

The but need for more cameras was rejected after councillors studied a report compiled by Detective Sgt David Kettle and district CCTV manager Graham Collis who said they did not believe the risks justified a camera on the route.

Mr Collis said the Myton cycle route presented no higher crime risk than those across other parks and pointed out there were “technical issues” due to the geography of the area.

He said the only recent “mugging” incident was a case of one child robbing another and the issue of “boy racers” could be dealt with by the police as a matter of urgency.

The committee agreed to work with ward councillors, the Friends of the Park and others to allocate the remaining funding to other desirable projects previously identified.

 

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