Signs of crime drop in London's parks - as figures show 70 per cent of offences are thefts and drugs

Thefts and cannabis offences make up 70 per cent of crimes in London's Royal Parks , official figures show.

Overall, the number of crimes in the eight parks have remained consistent, with signs of a drop in numbers this year.

But there are hundreds of thefts every year, partly due to high tourist football, as well as hundreds of instances of cannabis possession.

Of the 6,067 crimes recorded between January 1, 2013 and August 31 this year, 2,313 (38 per cent)were thefts and 1,959 (32 pc) were cannabis possession.

Meanwhile, 28 people were raped and 103 suffered grievous bodily harm. There was one murder: 62-year-old Jairo Medinain Hyde Park in 2016 .

The parks - Richmond Park , Bushy Park , Regent’s Park , Hyde Park , Kensington Gardens , Greenwich Park , St James’s Park and Green Park - are policed by the Met's Operational Command Unit. A spokesman insisted they are safe spaces, taking into account the tens of millions of visitorseach year.

He said: "Officerscarry out regular foot, cycle and vehicle patrols.Overall levels of crime within the Royal Parks have been relatively consistent over a number of years.

"Crime within the parks are very low when taking into account the large volume of people visiting year on year."

Theftswere recorded as 454 in 2013, 393 in 2014, 387 in 2015, 432 in 2016, 421 in 2017 and 226 so far this year. Of these, 320 were of pedal cycles.

Cannabis possession, despite making up a third of reported crimes since 2013, has been in decline. There were 614 instances in 2013 and 414 in 2014. However, this dropped to 255 in 2015, with 280 in 2016, 277 in 2017 and 119 so far this year.

The data, obtained from the Met under the Freedom of Information Act , also showed Hyde Park alone accounted for 51 pc (3,098) of the overall crimes.

But Joanna Clark, who sits on the safer parks panel for the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, said this was inevitable given Hyde Park's estimated 13 million visitors a year. It also hosts concerts and demonstrations.

She told the Standard: “Hyde Park has a very high footfall of tourists. You can almost think of it in terms of shopping streets. Hyde Park is comparable to Oxford Street, which has thousands more people than, say, Richmond High Street.

Crimes in London's Royal Parks

  • Overall figures between January 1, 2013 and August 31, 2018*
  • Hyde Park: 3,098
  • Regent's Park: 650
  • Green Park: 585
  • Richmond Park: 414
  • Greenwich Park: 345
  • Kensington Gardens: 339
  • St James's Park: 324
  • Bushy Park: 221

*figures do not include 91 sexual offences recorded acrossall eight parks

“You are going to have more crimes where there are more people, but we have also been encouraged with the reduction of incidents this year.”

The figures showed there were 308 crimes in Hyde Park up to August 31, compared to 634 in the entirety of 2017.

Ms Clark continued: “Much of it is lower level crime, such as theft of bikes, rather than serious crimes. We don’t see many nasty incidents like the water fight a couple of years ago.”

In July 2016, a police officer was stabbed and four others injured after the water fight turned violent. A crowd of about 4,000 people had gathered.

Ms Clark added: “If you think about London, being such a big city, we are relatively incident free."

Regent’s Park has had the second highest number of crimes since 2013, at 650, followed by Green Park with 585.

Bushy Park, despite being the second biggest of the Royal Parks, had the lowest number with 221.

standard.co.uk
Signs of crime drop in London's parks
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
London City Airport is going to fine airlines for breaching noise limits after a surge in complaints from residents.  The airport, based in the Royal Docks, has launched a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online. Bosses revealed the airport had seen a spike in complaints since launching concentrated flight paths in February 2016. The paths were changed after new air traffic control technology was b...
Society
The Crossrail delay will cost Transport for London almost £200 million next year in lost revenue, the Standard has learned. Latest calculations suggest the expected nine-month delay to the completion of the Elizabeth Line, first revealed in August, will cost the cash-strapped body almost £550,000-a-day.  TfL, which has a deficit of around £1bn, has told the London Assembly it will miss out on £170million income from passenger fares and up to £20million in...
Society
Motorists who park in cycle lanes in one of London’s “Mini Holland” boroughs could have their residents’ parking permits revoked, council chiefs warned today. A crackdown on illegal parking has been launched by Waltham Forest council amid growing anger at the way some drivers are blocking the new routes.  They are being introduced under a £30 million initiative to encourage walking and cycling by building Dutch-style segregated routes, including a three-mi...
Society
‘Only a bloody stark raving alcoholic is bloody drunk at 1.30pm in the afternoon,’ says Air India pilot. A senior Air India pilot was grounded after he failed breathalyser tests shortly before a flight from New Delhi to London on Sunday. Arvind Kathpalia, who is responsible for safety at the airline as operations director, denied drinking on the job and said he would contest the results of the alcohol checks. “It was 1.30pm in the afternoon, only a bloody...
Society
‘It was painful for me – it made me feel like I shouldn’t really be living’. Nearly half of school pupils have heard friends use language that is discriminatory or negative towards LGBT+ students, research finds.   More than one in three (35 per cent) young people have been called gay or lesbian as an insult, according to the new survey from The Diana Award charity. The poll, of children aged between 11 and 16, found that nearly half of young people (43 pe...
Society
A 15-year-old girl has been critically injured and 19 other people hurt as a double-decker London bus collided with two vehicles and hit a bus shelter. The bus collided with a car, a single-decker bus and hit a shelter at West Croydon bus station at about 12:20 GMT. The driver of the 198 Arriva double-decker bus was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. London Ambulance Service said 18 people were taken to hospital. A Metropolitan...
Society
Britain fell silent at 11am on Sunday to mark 100 years since the end of World War One. The Prince of Wales lead the tributes, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of his mother for the second year in a row, while an equerry laid a wreath on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh. Ten thousand people took part in a procession past the Cenotaph following the wreath laying. Events took place across the UK and Europe to mark the centenary of the Armistice, when...
Society
A couple are using the money they earn selling Christmas trees to celebrities to fund their humanitarian work abroad. Eilidh McRae and Séan Mclaughlin, both 38, work at Pines & Needles, the favoured Christmas tree shop of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle , football manager José Mourinho, actor Russell Tovey and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson . The couple are back working in London this week after volunteering in Indonesia following the Sulawesi tsunami whic...
Society
A planned 24-hour strike on London Underground's Piccadilly Line on Wednesday has been called off. But Tube passengers will still suffer disruption because of a walkout on the Central Line. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on the Piccadilly Line, which links central London to Heathrow Airport, were due to strike from noon on Wednesday. The union said it was suspending the action after progress was made in talks in a dispute over indu...