Jun 5 2008 By Frank Hurley
A GLASGOW mother told yesterday how she saved a mystery blonde from being dragged by two men into Queen's Park where tragic Moira Jones was found murdered.
The attempted abduction incident occurred just 100 yards from where the 40-year-old partially clothed body was discovered by a park ranger at Queen's Park on Glasgow's south side last Thursday morning.
The witness to the attack six months ago made a hurried call to local Aitkenhead Road police office when she spotted the two thugs hauling the screaming girl across Langside Avenue towards the park at around 1.30am.
The rescuer learned later that police did n't respond to her call and Strathclyde Police insist they have no record of it.
The brave rescuer was clothed in dressing gown and slippers when she dashed into the street after calling for police help to confront the abductors.
She was shocked when she came face to face with the abductors pulling the terrified blonde girl towards the darkened park, as she screamed frantically for help.
The rescuer, who has asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said: "The young woman who looked about 19 to 20, was being dragged by her blonde hair across Langside Avenue by one of the men.
"He had an arm around her neck with his hand clamped over her mouth as he jerked her towards the park. The second man appeared to be part of the abduction.
"The girl managed to scream 'Help, help, help me' as she struggled to break free.
" I could n't believe what I was seeing and I was shaking with fear.
"It definitely looked to me that the men were trying to drag the woman into the park.
"I can only speculate what they might have done to her if they had succeeded.
"I yelled 'What the hell are you doing ? ' They ignored me and continued dragging the woman away.
"Suddenly two taxis appeared in the avenue. The blonde somehow managed to struggle free and jumped into one of the taxis that had stopped.
"It drove off with her inside - leaving me alone in the street with the two guys staring at me.
"I ran back to my home as fast as I could."
Watching from a window in her home she saw an older man approach the two younger men and all three walked away after a brief conversation.
The resident explained: "I didn't see any police officers while I was in the avenue or while watching from my window.
"I certainly didn't have a follow-up visit from police officers anxious to hear what had happened to the woman."
Moira's murder and a succession of street crimes are blamed on the fact that the park has become a magnet for low-lifes, boozers and drug abusers now that the park is not locked at night and is accessible 24 hours a day.
Instead of Queen's Park being part of Glasgow's "Dear Green Place" environment local residents say their park is now "A Fear Green Place."
She said that in the two years she and her family moved into Queen's Park they've never had a peaceful weekend. That was until the weekend after Moira's murder when police swarmed over the streets during the murder inquiry and to keep a high profile to reassure residents.
The resident has had her window shot at with an air rifle as have near neighbours; her and her family's cars broken into and vandalised; a secure entry door smashed down; frequent occupation of her stairway by drunken adults and teenagers.
She added: "This is a beautiful area. But it has been turned into a playground for drunks, druggies and street yobs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
"Myself and local residents have asked Glasgow City Council to install CCTV cameras in our avenue to deter the criminals.
"So far we've been refused because appartently there have not been enough serious crimes to justify putting in CCTV coverage.
"Apart from the vandalism and thefts we've had two murders within a couple of months - Moira Jones and a young man killed off Tantallon Street.
"I complained to the last Chief Constable when I learned the crime rate didn't warrant CCTV protection. I asked him in my letter what price did he put on a life?"
Official police crime figures show that Queen's Park along with neighbouring Govanhill are the most dangerous places to live out of the city centre.
In 2005 to 2006 police logged 65 serious violent crimes, incuding four attempted murders, five sex attacks, 21 robberies and 27 serious assaults - all in the immediate vicinity of the park.
Drug and drink fuelled crimes of violence spill over into the area from nearby Crosshill where bed-sit tenants are blamed for an upsurge in crime rates.
The existence of local homeless houses - Queen's Park Hotel and Parkview guest house (now closed) - are also blamed for the spiralling rate of crime.
Chief Inspector Brian Connel, in charge of crime prevention with Strathclyde Police community safety at force HQ, wants an urgent review of crime prevention in the vicinity of Queen's Park.
He said: "It would be beneficial to carry out an environmental audit in the area.
"It's no use putting up CCTV cameras anywhere and it's no good if tree cover makes it easier for a potential attacker to hide.
"It has to be a case of being seen and seen by others. So resources must be used to take away 'black spots' where persons cannot be seen by a CCTV camera.
"The Chief Constable, Stephen House, is committed to placing more officers on beat patrol."
Turn to page seven to discover why Queen's Park residents call their area the 'Fear Green Place'.