Parker’s Piece Lights Vandalised

Vandals have damaged new lights in Parker’s Piece just days after installation.

christina sweeney-baird parkers piece women's campaign

A Police investigation has been launched following the destruction of six of the bollard lights. The lamp bollards had been installed on the path between the central column known as Reality Checkpoint and Melbourne Place, as part of a four-week trial to gauge public reaction.

The lights were installed after a woman was raped on Parker’s Piece whilst walking to work just after 6am in March 2011. Students had also raised concerns about assaults at an open meeting in 2012. Anthony, a Gonville and Caius student, had said at the meeting that walking across Parker’s Piece at night was a ‘pretty daunting experience’, especially for women.

The lights on Parker’s Piece before the vandalism

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: ‘We are investigating after six lights were damaged on Parker’s Piece between 5pm yesterday and 9am today. Anyone with any information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111.’

A consultation is being carried out, looking into whether or not residents support the lighting. If the reaction is positive, lights will be fitted on all of the paths costing £30,000.

Counsellor Tim Bick, leader of Cambridge City Council, has said that the trial is useful because it was difficult to make a judgement about the effectiveness of the lighting without it being seen in situ.

The lights were unveiled, coinciding with the annual Reclaim the Night event, on Monday 28th January. The event, organised by the CUSU Women’s Campaign, had the aim of reducing street harassment and violence against women.

Susy Langsdale, CUSU Women’s Officer, told The Tab: ‘This incident is certainly disappointing. However, due to the popularity of the Council’s survey, the Women’s Campaign remains hopeful that the lights will be installed as a permanent feature on Parker’s Piece.’

I am sure that the Council will take this incident into account and ensure that if lights are installed permanently on Parker’s Piece, they will be more resistant and long lasting.’