Cardiff Council announces installation of new CCTV to increase public safety in Bute Park


New CCTV cameras will be installed in and around Bute Park as part of a crackdown on crime and to increase public safety, it has been announced today at the Cardiff city centre park.

From April 2022, new CCTV cameras will be installed in six key locations to achieve coverage of main routes and entrances and will significantly improve the ability to prevent and detect crime in the park.

The special announcement was made today with partners from South Wales Police and FOR Cardiff, as part of Cardiff Council's commitment  to  promote  the safe use of Cardiff parks.

Cardiff Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Sarah Merry;Head of Projects & Engagement at FOR Cardiff,Emily Cotterill,and South Wales Police, PCSO's Emily Martin and Sarah Breverton,made the announcement in Bute Park, today.

Cardiff CouncilDeputy Leader,Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "In Cardiff, we have begun to see real progress in gender equality in recent years. But we know that we are still far from where we need to be as a society.

"As a Council, we are committed to tackling inequality, and ensuring women's safety and equality is a top priority.

"Working with our partners through Cardiff's Community Safety Partnership, I am proud to say that we have made Cardiff one of the UK's safest cities. Specifically,Cardiff has the second lowest overall crime rate of the English and Welsh "Core Cities" and the lowest rate of violence against the person.

"This work has not only focused on tackling crime, but also on providing opportunities for people to make their communities better places to live.

"The pandemic has shown us how important our parks and public green spaces are for the well-being and quality of life of our residents. But we have recently seen a number of high-profile crimes at the national level that have revealed how vulnerable women can be alone in these public spaces. There have also been crimes in Bute Park, as you may be aware.

"So as a Council, we have been actively working with our partners to promote public safety in parks and public spaces across the city, so we ensure that all women are able to use these shared assets safely.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank South Wales Police for their incredible work to make Cardiff a safer and more inclusive city for women and girls."

Cardiff Council has progressed a series of measures to improve safety in the city's much-loved parks following a number of incidents, including one which saw several thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to trees, planters, stonework, manhole covers and infrastructure in Bute Park in September, last year.

Some of the safety initiatives implemented in Bute Park include:

  • A multi-agency site review of the park, which was carried out after dark on 12thAugust 2021. This raised awareness over areas of concern and helped inform the development of future actions.
  • The "Cuppa with a Coppa" initiative, with sessions held monthly since August 2021. The sessions, which are publicised on South Wales Police and Bute Park social media channels, as well as being well-signed on site, are rotated around park café venues. The sessions are designed to build effective working relationships between stakeholders and allow for the sharing of information and intelligence. The sessions are led by South Wales Police and attended by the Bute Park Ranger and other site staff as appropriate.
  • Installation of an enhanced CCTV system by the proprietors of Pettigrew Team Rooms
  • Installation of an enhanced CCTV system by the proprietors of the Summerhouse Cafe
  • An undertaking by Pettigrew Team Rooms to become a designated ‘Safe Space' under theSafe Spaces Initiative, a partnership with FOR Cardiff and businesses across the city and whereby anyone feeling intimidated, at risk or scared can take refuge.
  • PCSO and Bute Park Ranger joint delivery of public awareness events promoting the safety of women and girls and the South Wales Police ‘Lives Not Knives', anti-knife campaign.
  • Options for installing additional lighting within Cardiff park's including Bute Park are being assessed.

Carolyn Brownell,Chair of the Women's Safety Network in Cardiff and Associate Director of FOR Cardiff, said: "We believe that Wales and its capital city has a responsibility to lead the way in creating a safer environment for women and girls in a city environment.

"As such, FOR Cardiff have led on initiatives such as Safe Places where people can use an app to find somewhere safe 24/7if they feel vulnerable, our Night Marshal team, leading on the application for Cardiff's Purple Flag accreditation, training businesses on vulnerability & child exploitation, and finally managing the city's business to business radio system.

"Of course, more can always be done, however, these initiatives and our partnership working, we believe that we are doing our bit to create a safer and more welcoming environment for all who live, work or visit Cardiff city centre."

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "The new CCTV cameras will achieve coverage of key locations in and outside the park whilst their design and exact positioning ensures that they are as discreet as possible.

"Given thepotential impact that lighting might have on the wildlife in our parks,I'm pleased to confirm that these cameras won't need lights to work at night.

The positive, proactive approach taken by Cardiff Council and our key partners South Wales and FOR Cardiff will hopefully reassure residents and visitors that Bute Park is a safe place and one that can continue to be enjoyed by everyone. We understand the importance of natural surveillance as a key mitigation so the more people that use our public open spaces, the safer they become for everyone."

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