CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Police ‘sorry’ as park is locked up on the wrong night

Police apologise for mistake

10 June, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

POLICE accidentally locked Primrose Hill up on the wrong night, stoking further anger among those who want the park to stay open 24 hours a day.

Officers turned up last Thursday and told everyone to leave by 10pm. The fences – a source of local debate for months – were only supposed to shut off the park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Met Police told the New Journal afterwards that officers from Camden had “closed Primrose Hill in error”, adding: “We apologise to any park users who were affected and aim to ensure this will not happen again.”

The park has been open around the clock since the 1970s but barriers are being used on a temporary basis in a bid to resolve reports of anti-social behaviour.

Neighbours who have suffered sleepless nights from late-night gatherings welcomed the move but a group called Keep Primrose Hill Open have raised concerns.

Amy McKeown, one of the anti-gates organisers, said: “Our biggest concern all along has been the park being temporarily shut turning into permanent gates. Last week there were two examples of this creep – the police accidentally closing the park on the wrong day, and a number of instances of certain fences not being opened the morning after the park had been closed.”

The Royal Parks said vandalism on the gates, including the tampering with locks, was behind the delay in gates being opened.

Camden Town and Primrose Hill ward councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli said: “The park being closed on the wrong night was an unfortunate accident that should not happen, but it is my impression that closing the park at night on weekends is still beneficial.

“There are lots of people who have been affected who say they can finally have some nights’ sleep.”

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