An increase in complaints of crime and vandalism occuring at Hanley Park on Davis Street has led the City of Bradford to install several new video surveillance cameras and lights on the premises.
“We heard the concerns people had about Hanley park and we’ve taken measures to catch and deter any criminal activity that may occur,” explained Bradford Mayor Tom Riel.
“We added cameras that overlook the skate park and the rest of the park and added three more lights around the building,” said Bradford City Police Chief Chris Lucco.
The project, which cost just under $2,000, was funded through the general obligation bond. “A city electrician did all the work. Our intention is to install more down the road,” said Riel.
“We felt it was necessary to put up surveillance cameras for two reasons. One, to deter vandalism and other crimes in the park, and two, we know from putting surveillance cameras downtown that people just behave better when there are cameras,” said Riel. “We’ve had an increased presence in the park in recent months, with an increase of citations for smoking for both juveniles and adults in the park.”
The city also has plans to block off the porch area of the brick building overlooking the skate park to deter criminal activity.
Riel does not want the general public to confuse increased lighting in the park as an invitation to go there at night.
“There’s already been some confusion with the illumination in the park after sundown. There is still an ordinance that people should not be in the city parks from sundown to sunup, with the exception of special events,” he said. “Also, no dogs are allowed in any of the city parks.”
The installation of surveillance cameras in the downtown business district has shown to be beneficial in deterring criminal activity and catching perpetrators.
“We went a year without a broken window in the downtown area. When it finally happened, we caught them,” Riel explained. “We caught an arsonist and we’ve caught people for assault, a hit-and-run and other violations.”
Moving forward, the city is looking into installing surveillance cameras in other facilities, including the Department of Public Works complex.