March 15, 2022 7.00 pm

Criminal activity reduced 80% after Boston park locked overnight

Zero overnight incidents between November to January

Criminal activity at a Boston park has reduced by nearly 80% since a decision was made to lock the gates at night, while activity overnight has reduced to zero.

Central Park’s gates were locked from September 6 after Boston Borough Council agreed to trial the move in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour and nuisance.

Councillors have often argued that locking the gate would have no effect and that if people want to get into the park, they will do.

However, a report before Boston Town Area Committee next Thursday showed a downward trend in incidents.

In the two months prior to locking from July 6 to September 6 there were 33 incidents, with six within the proposed closure hours of 8pm-5.30am) including arson, criminal damage to a doctor’s surgery and two assaults.

The following two months between September 6 to November 3, there were 11 calls to police with two during closed hours reporting three youths climbing the fence (though nothing was seen by CCTV) and a male refusing to leave the park who was later arrested for theft of a nearby retail premises earlier that day.

Finally, in the most recent data between November 4 and January 3 there were seven daytime calls to police, with zero at night, with the park at that point closing at 6pm.

The figures have been praised by police and crime officers with ASB officer Ian Dunn stating: “It is pleasing to see this downward trend in calls to the police and even more so in the most recent two-month period there have been no calls during locked hours, this stat all the more impressive given the 6pm locking time from December 21.

“These stats are proving that locking the park during the evening is having a positive impact for the residents, the public and police teams who are able to use their resources in other areas where before September, Central Park occupied a significant amount of their time.”

Councillor Neill John Hastie, who pushed for the gates to be locked, told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines: “For years me and residents asked for Central Park gates to be locked to reduce crime and ASB in the area.

“I’m glad to see there has been a 78.79% reduction in ASB in the area which has led to a safer area for residents to live in.

“It shows that when a councillor works hard and closely with residents and with their support we can make a difference and improve Boston as a whole.”