Patrols ramped up amid work to dispel safety fears at park

Waterloo Park in Norwich where the fountains have been turned back on. Picture: Danielle Booden

Waterloo Park in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

Safety for families and kids is the top priority for police and volunteers at a popular city park after a man was stabbed nearby. 

Officers were called to Sleaford Green, near Waterloo Park, on April 21 following reports that a man had suffered multiple stab wounds.

The victim, a man in his late 20s, suffered serious life-threatening injuries and was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

A Norfolk Police spokeswoman said: "We have provided high visibility reassurance patrols in and around the area. Investigations continue."

Margaret Bevan a member of Friends of Waterloo Park, owned by Norwich City Council, said no one has raised concerns about park safety following the incident.

She said: "We haven't heard from anyone about feeling intimidated in the park.

"Part of the Friends of Waterloo Park remit is we want to make it a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

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"Since the pandemic the park has been increasingly well-used.

"The park is essential because it is a community asset and community assets don't work if they don't feel safe."

She added the fact the park closed at night, as well as attracting a lot of of people to its Pavilion Cafe, run by The Feed, helped make the area feel welcoming.

The cafe was vandalised by yobs on April 25, destroying hundreds of pounds worth of furniture.

The friends group also wants to work on attracting more women to the park as on a national scale they are under utilised by this group.

Ms Bevan explained yew hedges had been cut back so visibility was increased - thus making people feel safer.

Chrissie Rumsby, councillor for Mile Cross, said racists were the last thing the area needed.

Chrissie Rumsby, councillor for Mile Cross, said racists were the last thing the area needed. - Credit: Labour Party

Chrissie Rumsby (Lab), Mile Cross county councillor, said: "I will be working with the community and police over recent incidents and see what practical solutions can be found to support the community and stop anti-social behaviour.

"Ten years of austerity has real consequences for communities like Mile Cross."

Gary Champion who quit his job as a teacher to home-school his son. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Gary Champion who quit his job as a teacher to home-school his son. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Gary Champion (Green), Sewell ward city councillor, said: "In comparison to other cities, Norwich is safe. The police do a good job.

"We plan to do more walkabouts to identify areas where people feel unsafe." 

The city council declined to comment.