Brighton residents call for the Royal Pavilion gardens to be closed at night in an effort to prevent crime.
In a bid to tackle the increasing crime rate in the area, residents in Brighton are calling on the council to restrict access to the Pavilion gardens at night.
Over the last three months, there has been 16 reported incidents of anti-social and criminal behaviour in the area. These range from vandalism and theft, to drug use and sexual assault.
Now, some residents have expressed their concerns over the increasing crime levels.
Speaking to Brighton Broadcaster News, one resident said: “I think the Council should close the gardens as there is a high crime rate and I wouldn’t feel safe walking through the park at night.”
Last week, Brighton and Hove City Council installed a number of CCTV cameras across the grounds in order to monitor visitors passing through the gardens, as well as recording any criminal activity.
According to statistics from Brighton and Hove City Council, over five million people visit Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens annually. Last year alone, there was also more than twenty thousand reported incidents of anti-social and criminal behaviour.
If the campaign is successful, this wouldn’t be the first time the gardens would be off-limits. When the Pavilion was built more than 200 years ago, the Grade II listed gardens were surrounded by a fortified wall which restricted access to the public.
Whilst Brighton and Hove City Council have said they will consider the proposal, a spokesperson from the council told BBN: "We are committed to keeping the gardens free and accessible to all, as we believe it is the most important green space in the city.
The Council are currently undergoing a project which aims to make the pavilion gardens safer. The plan includes improved lighting, and new secure fencing around the perimeter.
Creag Aaro, the manager of a late-night bar near the Pavilion said: “If the gardens close at night time, it would have a detrimental impact on our trade… However it is important to put safety first.”
He added: “It would be a good compromise if [the Council] were to close the gardens temporarily until they bring in the new safety measures.”