May 25 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Monday, January 7, 2013
A resident who joined a protest against Seven Kings Park being left open overnight has said he holds Redbridge Council responsible for his family home being burgled.
Father-of-two Khalid Noor voiced concerns over anti-social behaviour and crime after council leisure operator Vision started leaving the park open at night as a “trial”.
Police believe thieves went through Seven Kings Park to get into his back garden before entering the home in Farnham Road on Thursday.
Mariam Noor arrived home on around 5pm to find she could not unlock the front door.
Thinking it was faulty, she called a locksmith, who revealed the door had been locked from the inside by intruders.
When she and Mr Noor got in, they found a bedroom and study ransacked and gold wedding jewellery passed down through Mrs Noor’s family gone.
She estimated it was worth around £20,000.
Mrs Noor added: “I have got a feeling we might have disturbed them because they completely ransacked the bedroom and my husband’s office but the rest of the house was untouched.
“They had smashed everything, it looks like they were trying to grab things as quickly as they could.”
Mr Noor believes the park would previously have been locked when the intruders used it to enter his house.
He said: “For three years we’ve lived here and felt safe and secure.
“Now all that is gone. My wife cried all night and I haven’t been able to sleep.
“I hold the council completely responsible for what’s happened to us.
“They made a decision and I’m suffering because of it.”
But the cabinet member for leisure and youth services, Cllr Robin Turbefield, said people enter the park at night whether it is closed or not.
He added: “Although the gates to parks are locked at night, it is still very easy to gain access.
“The trial was asking if we need to lock parks at night just because we always have.”
Cllr Turbefield said the trial, which started in October, has finished and Seven Kings Park will be locked again at night starting this week.
Police swooped on the homeless, grabbing sleeping bags and food parcels donated by the public, in co-ordinated raids around the borough.