The Forest Recreation ground in Forest Fields has recently been named the most dangerous park in Nottingham, with more crimes reported than the rest of the city’s parks combined.
‘The Forest’, as it is called by local residents, is one of Nottingham’s most popular parks and is home to the annual Goose Fair, however, the park has also been home to a number of crimes.
In 2015, the police were called to the park 109 times, mainly for assaults, thefts and drugs related offences.
Forest Fields, the area which surrounds the Recreation ground, is home to thousands of people who like to use the park to socialise, yet some residents no longer feel safe in the Forest.
Arifa Hassan, from Forest Fields Advice Centre, has been a victim of crime in the area and she sometimes feels unsafe in the park.
” I have had an incident myself. My handbag was taken off me and I was going into town to pay off my mortgage and I had my mortgage amount in cash and it was very sad.
“I now avoid walking around that side of the park,” Mrs Hassan said.
“it’s not the most dangerous park.”
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR Andy townsend
DI Andy Townsend, from Radford Road Police Station, believes the statistics are an unfair representation of the park because the majority of crimes occur when large-scale events are held there.
“It’s not, it’s not the most dangerous park. It does sound terrible [the number of crimes] but then you got to take in to account some of the mitigating factors.
“We have the Goose Fair, when nearly more than half a million people visit over five days in October. Then we have the Oktoberfest, when a large number of people are drinking a lot of beer.”
“The Forest is an events centre for Nottingham and that’s a large reason for the amount of crime,” DI Townsend added.
The Forest is the only park in the city which has a park-and-ride tram stop and DI Townsend also believes this adds to the crime rates within the park.
“No other park in Nottingham has this facility and at the rate of about one crime a month to those cars in that car park, it adds to my crimes in the Forest”, said DI Townsend.
The Arboretum Project, which is headed by DI Andy Townsend, aims to tackle crimes in the area and he feels that the project has improved the safety in the area.
“We got extra people, high-visibility, foot patrols during the day and during the early evening that you didn’t have before so it’s got to be a safer place and I think we’ll see the crime trends of 2016 are a lot different to those figures you’ve seen in 2015”, DI Townsend said.
DI Townsend believes the Arboretum Project is improving the safety of the Forest Recreation Ground.