Police will 'make more effort' after Ravensbury Park concerns raised at heated meeting

Wimbledon Guardian: PC Mark Belcher addresses the group with MP Siobhain McDonagh, centre. PC Mark Belcher addresses the group with MP Siobhain McDonagh, centre.

Police officers have pledged to ‘make more effort’ patrolling Ravensbury Park after a meeting with neighbours where tensions flared.

PC Mark Belcher heard concerns from some of the 35 people who turned out to have their say on the state of the park in Morden, which they say is abandoned, over-grown and dangerous at night.

Hosted by MP Siobhain McDonagh, tensions ran high as neighbours of the park challenged Merton Council officer Doug Napier, council leader Stephen Alambritis and PC Belcher who is responsible for policing the neighbourhood.

Speaking at the meeting, held in the park itself, PC Belcher said: “I will put more effort into this park.

“Seeing so many people here today.

“We will do more policing in this park.”

Concerns including litter, out-of-control dogs and security were raised by neighbours who gathered in a group at the entrance by the Morden Hall Medical Centre in Morden Hall Road.

Several people described how friends or neighbours had been attacked while walking in the park, which made people feel unsafe.

Grandmother Tina Lima, who lives in Wandle Road, said: “My neighbour was attacked by a group of people who threatened to take her handbag or take her baby if she didn’t give it up.

“This was last year.”

A man said his neighbour had been mugged a couple of years ago.

Carol Chaplin, who lives in Wandle Road and has a mobility scooter to get around, said she is terrified to use the park on her own and the state of the path means she is unable to get around it easily.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, July 10, Ms Chaplin said: “We have seen it deteriorate.

“We moved here because the park was nice with the river but it has gone downhill.

“It’s so dangerous now.”

Members of the Friends of Ravensbury Park group were also there.

Responding to claims the park is over-grown and derelict, treasurer Dan Goode said: “We spent four hours last Sunday collecting ten bags of rubbish.

“We want the park to be looked after – I give up my time for free.”

Ravensbury Park is on the site of the old Ravensbury Manor which dates back to the 13th century.

Comments (3)

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9:55am Sun 13 Jul 14

tjames says...

is mark belcher a special? i thought the hatband was worn by special constables
is mark belcher a special? i thought the hatband was worn by special constables tjames
  • Score: 1

7:30am Mon 14 Jul 14

tjames says...

surely the MP has more important things to do--this is local councillor fodder.

govt is trying to rush thru more legislation to control us--pretending needed for prevention of terrorism--should she not be dealing with this?
surely the MP has more important things to do--this is local councillor fodder. govt is trying to rush thru more legislation to control us--pretending needed for prevention of terrorism--should she not be dealing with this? tjames
  • Score: 1

5:30am Thu 17 Jul 14

tjames says...

and she failed to attend vote! according to 38 degrees
and she failed to attend vote! according to 38 degrees tjames
  • Score: 0
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