IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Barmaid killing sparks calls for Finsbury Park to close at night

Police back residents amid pressure for better lighting following death of 22-year-old

08 May, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Barmaid Luliana Tudos with friend Sonny Webb

POLICE are calling for a park to close at night following the killing of a popular barmaid whose body was found next to an abandoned outhouse just after Christmas.

Recommendations on how to make Finsbury Park safer were presented to Haringey Council last month. They include installing better lighting, improving fencing and getting rid of benches.

The key points of the police audit were revealed this week by community group The Friends of Finsbury Park, which has welcomed the push for better safety.

Group chairman Simon Hunt said: “We set up a brief online survey to see what people’s views are on the recommendations, but around 70 per cent have already said the park should close at some point in the night to improve security.”

He said the group would put its own recommendations to ward councillors after keeping the online survey open for another couple of weeks.

Citymapper, an online navigation tool for smartphone users, recommends people take a shortcut through the park to get from Finsbury Park station to Harringay station, even in the middle of the night, said Mr Hunt.

Police comb the park for clues

He added: “I would never walk through there at night. People new to the area or tourists might use the park as a shortcut unless it’s closed at night.”

The group highlighted concerns with increased drug dealing while there are fewer police officers and park staff on patrol.

Other recommendations made by police which locals can vote on include removing the shelter by Seven Sisters Road and redesigning bins to prevent drugs and weapons storage.

The body of Luliana Tudos, 22, of Upper Toll­ington Park, was found in the 150-year-old park, near her home, sparking a hunt for her killer.

Former housemate Sonny Webb told the Tribune they would often take a shortcut through the park, which straddles Islington and Haringey boroughs but is managed by Haringey Council.

The body of Ms Tudos was found in the 150-year-old park, near her home

He said: “When you’ve done it [the shortcut] thousands of times you assume nothing will happen. But it’s pitch black and you can’t see.

“The council should puts lights in there for sure, 100 per cent. And they need to knock down where she was found. It’s empty and never been in use.”

An online petition has called for better lighting and safety features in the park.

Amy Joseph, who created the 6,000-signature petition, said: “I feel too unsafe to walk through the park after dark. If measures could be taken on the main routes through the park, such as lighting, CCTV and more wardens or help points, it would make the park a safer place for all and hopefully prevent tragedy striking again.”

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “We recognise residents’ concerns about safety in Finsbury Park and are currently considering what steps we could take to further improve security, including exploring measures suggested by police.”

Kasim Lewis, 31, of Friern Barnet, is accused of murder and will face trial next month.

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