EALING Council has been forced to install CCTV at a cafe in a Northolt Park after a spate of burglaries and antisocial behaviour.
San Remo Cafe by the fishing ponds in Northala Fields was broken into at the end of January after a failed attempt only three days after it opened on December 3. There has also been complaints of groups of teenagers hanging around outside the cafe at night.
Manager Vincenzo Vinciguerra said: “They didn't come in the first time, but they broke the shutter door. They must've tested it to see if it was easy to get through – some plan to get in later. They tried again and took all the chocolates. I think they were looking for money, everything was messed up in the kitchen, but we don't keep money in here.
“CCTV will help of course. Every night boys meet outside. Sometimes I find drinking cans, packets of cigarettes and condoms by the toilets. The toilets are a very nice idea but the main problem is that this kind of toilet is normally inside. Here outside it's completely out of control.”
The building is owned by the council but cafe staff are responsible for opening and cleaning the outside toilets, which has caused Mr Vinciguerra to only open one of the five toilets at a time.
Three CCTV cameras are currently being put up around the cafe, which was built after demand by park users since the park opened in 2007. One camera will face the toilets at the back, one facing the entrance and another overlooking the ponds, which will be linked up to a security room in Ealing Town Hall.
Deb Alldis, of Northolt and Greenford Countryside Parks, said: “I hate cameras but this is an essential thing. What we don't want is gangs of kids and people making trouble. If there are cameras there it might be able to deter it. We want the park to be used. It's going to be problem if we don't stop it. We don't want yobs going down there taking it over.”