THREE parks in Harrow have scooped gold medals in the Safer Park Awards for helping combat crime and anti-social behaviour, making the borough London's best performer.
Those to gain the top recognition on top of their existing Green Flag Awards were Canons Park off Donnefield Avenue in Edgware, Harrow Recreation Ground off Roxborough Road, Harrow, and Roxeth Recreation Ground off Eastcote Road in South Harrow.
The awards were set up by Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, to celebrate the capital's best public spaces and of the 31 parks to be selected as winners, Harrow was the only borough to scoop three gold medals.
Sharon Graham, of The Friends Of Canons Park, said: “We're just delighted that they recognise that our efforts have made it safer for the people that use the park, including dog walkers.
“There's been quite a lot of improvements. We now have a full-time park warden five days a week, supplied by Harrow Council, and the fact that we have a café that opens from April to October allows people to go and ask for information, and if anyone was distressed, there's a point of contact.
“They have removed a lot of the overgrown vegetation so the sight lines are better, and we have a police lodge – a Safer Neighbourhood Team base – that's on our doorstep in Donnefield Avenue, and we have patrols of the police coming through the park occasionally.”
John Riches, of Roxbourne Action Group, said of Roxeth Recreation Ground: “I think it's one of the pleasantest parks in the borough. I would say it's a safe park.
“There was park keeper called Andrew who did an absolutely brilliant job. He deserves an honourable mention.”
Councillor Phillip O’Dell (Labour), Harrow Council's portfolio holder for environment and community safety, said: “These awards are a credit to everyone from the council’s grounds maintenance staff and police safer neighbourhoods teams, to the residents who volunteer their time and take great pride in improving our green spaces.
“All three of the Safer Park Award winners also have Green Flag status and are therefore some of the best parks you will find anywhere in London.”