Neighbourhood watch goes green
Residents from Havering have banded together to reclaim control of their local park.
Local resident and chairman of the residents association, Patrick Curtis wasn't convinced he'd be able to make a difference to his local area when he signed up to Friends of Harold Wood Parks. But over the last 18 months, with help from all members of the community they've managed to turn Harold Wood Park from being a place where families were afraid to go, to a place of lush green grass and play facilities for all ages.
The change came about after regular park-goers got tired of people fly-tipping and vandalising the park. With the assistance of the local police residents formed Park Watch. Similar to neighbourhood watch, this scheme relies on members of the public reporting any anti-social incidents they witness to their Ward police officer.
"We've now got seventy [or] eighty eyes and ears that can report anti-social behaviour" - Inspector Mark Jaggard.
Since they started, the park has been transformed, with new tennis courts, a new children's play area and their sights on a new cricket pavilion.
"You don't now feel that you're victimised when you come here" - Friends of Harold Wood Parks.
Patrick and the volunteers hope that the success of this scheme will encourage other boroughs and communities to take up the challenge and reclaim their parks.
Watch Patrick's report on Park Watch by clicking here.
last updated: 27/12/2007 at 16:18