CCTV cameras are to be installed in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park as part of efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The cameras will be installed at two locations in the west end park, which has been scene of a number of high-profile incidents of public drinking, anti-social behaviour and littering in recent weeks.
Letters will be sent to 500 homes surrounding the park to inform residents of the ongoing work, with Glasgow City Council also taking steps to engage in talks with youth service providers.
The installation of CCTV cameras comes amid criticism levelled at the council and police for their efforts in attempting to clamp down on the anti-social behaviour witnessed in the park – with council staff urged to get to the “root cause”.
This year some gates will be closed on busy days, while last summer ten of the park’s 16 gates were locked, and those entering the park will be checked for alcohol by police and community enforcement officers.
But Hillhead councillors, who have been inundated with complaints from nearby residents, are calling for a different approach.
(Image: Reach PLC)
Cllr Martha Wardrop said: “The current way of working is not going to address the root cause. We have to work with the young people and find out what the root causes are of their problems and why they’re abusing the park and littering it and getting drunk all the time. It’s not acceptable and it’s been going on for years, we can’t carry on the way we have been.”
She said a meeting should be called with young people’s groups across the city, adding: “They have to have a much stronger say.”
The recent Reclaim These Streets movement had highlighted safety concerns, Cllr Wardrop said.
Cllr Hanzala Malik said: “I’ve had far too many complaints. We’re still waiting for the summer to come in and if we can’t control it at this early stage, I would be a little cautious. Residents cannot put up with this for any length of time. Not only residents, but parks visitors.
“We need to deal with this as a very serious matter.”
Amy McKenzie Smith, a University of Glasgow student representative, said: “A lot of students do use the park and really do appreciate it as a nice, enjoyable and green space. If there’s anything we can do to help with making it a safer space, I know that most of our students would be completely happy to come in on any consultations.
“It’s a shame if it’s the minority ruining it for everybody else. Often some behaviour comes not just from university students, but from younger, school age.”
Speaking at a meeting of Hillhead area partnership, a council officer admitted “closing the gates for the entire summer season” was “probably quite heavy handed”.
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“We have tailored our plan and we will be closing gates on days where there is heightened activity. We’re continuously in the park on days of high activity, we engage with members and park users in relation to the park management rules and the bylaws in relation to alcohol consumption.”
She added talks with youth service providers were ongoing, but measures are needed now “to alleviate some of the issues residents are experiencing”.
“Kelvingrove is now ultimately like an event, where we have to be able to manage numbers safely.”
The council officer said “the abuse of the park” and littering is an issue across Scotland.
“I sit on a call with 20 other local authorities and every other local authority is experiencing the same issues in relation to beauty spots.”