Fresh CCTV calls for Betts Park
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 October 2018
Fresh calls for CCTV in a “no-go” park have been rebuffed ahead of the first anniversary of a teenager’s murder in Penge.
No arrests have been made since 17-year-old Michael Jonas was fatally stabbed in Betts Park in November last year.
Michael was found by police suffering from multiple stab wounds, and died in the park.
Labour councillors claimed at a meeting on Monday (October 8) that Betts Park is now seen by residents as a “no-go” area because of crime.
Just last month, a 27-year-old man from Anerley was robbed there at knifepoint in broad daylight.
Cllr Kathy Bance quizzed the cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Kate Lymer, on the issue of CCTV.
Cllr Bance said: “We are all aware CCTV would not have stopped that murder. That is clear, but you yourself mentioned it is good at alleviating the perception of crime.
“I live close by and I know it is a no-go area. Is there any funding available for CCTV to be installed?”
Installing cameras in Betts Park would cost the council approximately £17,000, although Cllr Lymer said it was not a financial problem.
The councillor said that despite numerous benefits, police advised her CCTV would be ineffective.
Cllr Lymer said: “After Michael Jonas murder, and obviously my thoughts are still with the family, I spoke to the then borough commander and he said it was not the magic solution and didn’t recommend we went with CCTV.
“As recently as Tuesday last week we asked the same question and we received the same answer. We take the professional opinion of police and as it stands we don’t think it is the right solution for the area.”
CCTV has since been released of five suspects riding bikes nearby just minutes before the attack that killed Michael Jonas.
A £20,000 reward is available for anyone who has information that can lead to the identification of his murderers.