Park Benches

A "park" without benches?


Stockley Gardens:

There used to be benches in Stockley Gardens and Stone Park (west end of the Hague) where people could sit and enjoy the view or contemplate nature or meditate on the grandeur of the cosmos or the meaning of life — but no more of that silliness.


Stripped of its benches — and its bench sitters:

It seems that certain people who liked to congregate around those benches were deemed problematic, so in August, 2013, the Norfolk City Government removed all park benches from Stockley Gardens and Stone Park to deter misbehavior and/or crime. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face? Now no one has anywhere to sit.


Stone Park:


Similarly stripped of its benches:


The Obvious Solution

Bring back the benches. It's a park, for the Buddha's sake! Oh yeah, and add some cameras. Then if anyone hanging around the benches is seen misbehaving in the park, and he or she continues hanging out in the park, the police can arrive and arrest the miscreant.

Soon everyone will get the idea that you cannot misbehave in the park without being spotted. And for all you privacy rights absolutists, No, you do not have a right not to be seen when you are in a public park or anywhere else in the open (which is a ridiculously liberal interpretation of the concept of privacy). While you're cringing about some cop watching you with a camera, consider that anyone could be watching you from a window in one of the surrounding buildings or from the street or from behind the bushes.

C'mon, Norfolk City Government, if you can afford to dole out whopping big tax breaks for all those new hotels, you can afford a few security cameras. Maybe Norfolk should strive to be a bit more like London with all its ubiquitous security cameras than like Paris with its obnoxious "love locks."

One of the benches still found along The Hague. Let's hope no unsavory characters who must be banished (which obviously doesn't incude birds) start sitting on it:





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