September 1, 2022 5.07 pm This story is over 13 months old

Boston Central Park to remain locked overnight after drop in criminal activity

Calls to police have dropped

A Boston park could remain closed overnight for another year after crime and antisocial behaviour reduced by nearly 80%.

The Central park gates were locked in September 2021 for a year-long trial as councillors looked to reduce issues in the town centre area.

A report before Boston Town Area Committee next Thursday says there were seven incidents reported during closing time (8pm-5.30am) while the trial was ongoing, compared to 33 incidents the year before.

The figure excludes four incidents which took place while the May Fair was in town and the park was open longer

As a result members will be asked to approve a further 12 months closure, along with £16,500 + VAT funding for staffing and CCTV.

They will also be asked to vary closure times depending on the season – 8pm-5.30am during autumn and spring, 6pm-5.30am during winter and 10pm-5.30pm during the summer.

Within the report, a statement from anti-social behaviour officer Ian Dunn said: “Although it could be said there has been a slight increase in the summer months and since the turn of the year, this is to be expected as there are more people around because of the better weather.

“It is clear that locking of the park has had a clear and positive impact on the number of incidents called into the police.”

He added that not only had night-time calls dropped, but so had day-time reports which had fallen from 91 in 2020-21 to 52 in 2021-22.

“I will leave that to interpretation, it may be coincidence, but either way the number of incidents called in by members of the public to Lincolnshire Police has reduced significantly, particularly after 8pm,” he said.

Boston Police Inspector Colin Clarkson said the reduction in calls had saved police time, did not appear to have shifted ASB or crime elsewhere in the town, and had prevented members of the community from becoming victims.

He added: “The reduction in calls for service to police have meant that officers have been freer to deal with other incidents.

“I believe there is benefit to the community in restricting access during the hours of darkness which outweighs keeping the park accessible all the time. “