BBQ plan to liven Totterdell Park

But are there devils in the detail?

The council’s website calls this park a “charming” and “tranquil oasis”, but nearby residents reckon it gets rough after dark. Photo from City of Perth.

CAN the humble barbie help fight crime at the trouble hotspot of Totterdell Park?

Nearby residents say there’s ongoing security issues and antisocial behaviour in the shadowy West Perth park, which doesn’t have CCTV or lighting, and Perth council’s considering activating the area in the hope legitimate users deter delinquents.

Resident Hugh Myers is chair of the Lucknow Place council of owners, and made a deputation to council listing the park’s problems and calling for lighting.

“We’ve been adversely affected as a complex and as a nearby community with regard to the ongoing crime in the area,” he said, with people prowling the shadows at night, residents followed after dark, bikes stolen, and cars broken into.

“The park itself has been neglected for a long number of years. I feel it’s under-utilised. The lighting is just non-existent after a certain time of day.” 

Deputy lord mayor Sandy Anghie moved that council staff investigate complaints and compile data on security issues there so they can ponder some upgrades.

Council staff say lighting and CCTV would cost north of $300,000 and there’s currently no plan to install them, and the park has no power. 

Cr Anghie pointed out the park’s advertised on the council’s website as a place for parties, and it might attract more legitimate parkgoers if there was actually a barbeque there, describing it as part of the “basic amenity” fundamental to making the area more appealing. 

Staff have advised treading very cautiously and consulting first, given previous opposition from some nearby residents to livening up the park.

“Barbeques may be a good option for some local residents, however, may also create an increase in later night usage of the park which may impact on other residents in the immediate area,” a wary and weary staff report reads.

Back in 2019 the council proposed a small off-leash dog agility course there to activate the park.

The report says “while the proposal received a high level of support from the wider community the residents overlooking the park were strongly opposed, due to concerns with parking, noise and the perception that it would attract antisocial behaviour”.

A split council approved investigating the park’s problems and potential solutions, with councillors Anghie, Clyde Bevan, Brent Fleeton, Liam Gobbert and Viktor Ko in favour. 

After community consultation a report will be drawn up for councillors early 2022 to consider any upgrades that’ll hamper crime but not irk neighbours. 

by DAVID BELL

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