Jun 5 2008 By Fraser Wilson
GLASGOW is home to an astonishing 91 public parks - but is the Dear Green Place becoming too much of a 'Fear Green Place' for local residents?
Last week's horrific murder in Queen's Park shocked the city. Forty-year-old Moira Jones' body was found by a park ranger at 9.45am on Thursday morning, just minutes from her home in Queen's Drive.
Police have refused to reveal exactly how the sales consultant was killed but they confirmed her death was "brutal and violent".
Such a ghastly incident doesn't seem to sit right with the area which is home to Victorian townhouses and tenements and can only be described as leafy and welcoming during the day.
However, official police figures have revealed that, along with Govanhill, the Queen's Park area is the most dangerous in Glasgow outside the city centre.
In the year 2006-07 there were seven crimes of indecency and sex attacks, 54 serious assaults and 24 robberies in the small community.
It seems our parks and green places may not be the safe haven they once were.
But what do Glaswegians themselves think? We hit the streets in the south side to find out for ourselves.
Lynd a Adair 57, of Deaconsbank, reckons the city's parks are a no-go area for women on their own.
She said: "I would only go into the parks if I was with someone - even during the day. I get off my bus at because I would not go through Queen's Park on my own.
"It's just not safe and good people feel frightened now.
"We need more policemen on the beat and for the courts to be more strict with offenders."
Paul Coleman, 25, of Govanhill, agreed. He said: "Before Thursday I would not have worried about walking through the park but now I wonder.
"It's a shame because our parks are beautiful and on a nice day there's always a happy atmosphere in them. But I think it will take a while for people to get their trust back
"CCTV is not the answer because it's too easy to hide your face and more police is not the answer either as people would then ask why so many officers are walking around in the parks and not in the street.
"There should be a curfew after which time the gates to the parks get locked and after that people enter the parks at their own risk."
Louise Campbell, 28, of Castlemilk, reckons the >Queen's Park area has a problem with drug users.
She said: "Now that the park is shut you see a lot of drug users and undesirables in the street whereas they usually hang out in the park.
"So I definitely wouldn't feel safe walking through there on my own.
"We need more police on patrol - public safety demands we have more police on the streets."
Castle milk resident Samantha Wishart, 17, knows only too well of the dangers which lurk in the parks after dark.
She said: "I know a girl who was raped in one of the parks in the city as she walked through it at night on her own.
"I would never venture into a park on my own, night or day. There are just too many dodgy people hanging around.
"With modern technology there is no reason why our parks can't be made safer.
Be it CCTV or more police on the beat - something has to be done."
Donald Elliott, 66, of Pollok reckons our parks are far more dangerous than they used to be.
He said: "It's a shame because we have some of the finest green spaces around. Pollok Park is the best in Europe but I wouldn't go in there after 6pm.
"Glasgow is a dangerous place, as is Scotland. In fact, Britain is a dangerous place right now.
"You can put more police on the beat or whatever but it all comes down to alcohol. The wrong kind of people can get their hands on alcohol far too easily."
Finally, Mary Lennox, of Queen's Park, said: "I work in the city centre and used to get off the bus and walk home through Queen's Park. But I will definitely be getting a taxi to my door for the forseeable future.
"The parks are lovely but at night it's a different story, they're dangerous."