Greenwich Council has announced it is going to lock nine of its parks up from dusk till dawn to stop late-night vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

The vast majority of parks in the borough are fully opened out and accessible 24 hours a day, but a handful are fenced and gated, allowing them to be locked if needed.

Earlier this year the council decided to leave the parks open at night, but “following a number of incidents of vandalism and other antisocial behaviour, we have now decided to lock these parks again between dusk and dawn.”

Parks, which have provided a lifeline for thousands during lockdown, will now be locked to the public after dark, and unlocked in the morning.

Cllr Adel Khaireh, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “With restrictions on meeting in homes, pubs, community centres and other indoor spaces, our parks are more popular and important than ever.

“Unfortunately, there have been a number of incidents of vandalism and antisocial behaviour which spoil the parks for local residents and create additional work for our staff who are already working extremely hard in difficult circumstances.

Cllr Khaireh added that he would like to thank the Greenwich Parks Forum and friends groups for their advice.

“If you care about our parks you could join your local friends group or, if your park doesn’t have one, get in touch with us to start one up.”

The move to lock the parks has been made after discussions with the Greenwich Parks Forum who say they are “delighted” with the decision.

Terry Powley, the forum’s chair, said: “We were concerned that leaving some of our ornamental and horticulturally developed parks open at night would leave them vulnerable to vandalism and misuse and unfortunately this has proven to be the case.

“Locking these sites between dusk and dawn will help make sure our parks and pleasaunces can be attractive and enjoyed by all.”

From Monday 22 June the following five parks will be locked at night:

  • East Greenwich Pleasaunce
  • Fairy Hill Park
  • St Alfege Park
  • The Tarn
  • Well Hall Pleasaunce

A further four parks will also be locked at night as soon as possible:

  • Hornfair Park
  • Maryon Park
  • Plumstead Gardens
  • Southwood Park