Camden Council and police set sights on troublesome park

Narellan Urban Forest is bordered by the library and Narellan Town Centre. Picture: Kayla Osborne
Narellan Urban Forest is bordered by the library and Narellan Town Centre. Picture: Kayla Osborne

Fighting, graffiti and malicious damage are just some of the dangers at a Narellan park after dark.

The playground bordered by Narellan Library and Narellan Town Centre has become a popular hang out for local youth.

However the park, known as Narellan Urban Forest, has attracted a high level of anti-social behaviour.

Camden Crime Manager Detective Inspector Jayne Doherty said Camden Local Area Command’s crime prevention officer was working alongside council to curb some of the crime happening at the site.

“We have had calls for a number of incidents of youths arranging to meet and fight at the park along with other anti-social behaviour,” she said.

“We have increased patrols of the park but we are also working with council to come up with a solution for the site through the use of lighting and CCTV.

“It’s a natural meeting hub because it is close to the shopping centre and the library.

“It is also where a lot of kids get on and off the bus for school.”

The Advertiser also witnessed an altercation between two teenage girls while at the park on Wednesday afternoon.

At last night’s Camden Council meeting councillors unanimously accepted $258,000 in funding from the federal government to increase safety at the busy park.

The funding will be used over the next two years to install more lighting at the playground and in the public areas around the library and the Narellan Town Centre.

The council report stated that additional lighting would increase visibility in these areas to reduce the likelihood of crime.

Camden deputy mayor Therese Fedeli said the grant would be beneficial to the community.

“I am always happy to accept funding for a great cause,” she said.

Detective Inspector  Doherty said additional lighting would help to reduce some of the anti-social behaviour occurring at the site.

“The crime prevention officer has been working with the council to come with a few plans to stop what is happening at the park,” she said.

“We want to ensure that kids aren’t hanging out there late at night when they should be at home.

“Better lighting and cameras would help us to identify people who may be involved with certain offences.”