Council install CCTV in park where man was stabbed to death
A CCTV camera has been installed in a park where a young man was stabbed to death earlier this year as part of a long-term bid to reduce crime.
The camera has been set up at the Unitas Youth Zone in Montrose Park, Burnt Oak, Edgware, to capture data as well as evidence of criminal activity.
Residents have been campaigning for better safety measures in the park following a spate of violent and anti-social behaviour incidents, including, on 31st May, the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Al-Sadiq Mohamed Ishaq-Adam.
Their campaign was backed by Labour councillors, whose call for CCTV cameras at a meeting of the Hendon area committee in June failed to win the support of the Conservatives. Labour branded the recent CCTV installation a “major U-turn”, while the Tories claimed the camera was already being planned back in June.
Sara Conway, a Labour councillor for Burnt Oak, said: “Thank you to all the residents, community groups and school leaders for campaigning for better safety in Montrose Park - it is welcome that the council is finally beginning to help residents feel safer here.
“Barnet Labour continues to push the Conservative administration to improve community safety across the borough. We hope that their lead spokesperson now recognises the value of a CCTV system that is fit for purpose and brings forward the vital measures needed to help support the police to reduce crime in Barnet.”
In response to the original call by Labour to install CCTV at the site, Conservative Jennifer Grocock, lead member for policing and community safety, said the proposal “could be avoided by people wearing hoods”.
Labour claim they were told by the council there would not be any CCTV for Montrose Park over the summer, and nothing would happen until the wider CCTV review reported in the autumn.
But Val Duschinsky, Conservative chair of Hendon area committee, claimed the camera placement “was being planned at the time of the area committee, and negotiations with Unitas were complete by 7th July to place CCTV on their site”.
Cllr Duschinsky claimed Labour’s proposal would have been “short-term” and “expensive”, adding that the council’s scheme “is long-term and will help us understand the use of this kind of CCTV, capturing data of use as well as evidence of criminal activity, which is a core part of our strategic review”.
As part of an ongoing row over crime in the borough, Cllr Duschinsky criticised Mayor of London Sadiq Khan over the closure of Barnet Police Station, while Labour leader Barry Rawlings blamed the Tory government for cutting police funding.