Croydon Council apologises after ranger locks cancer sufferer in South Norwood Lake and Grounds park

Frazer Scott with his dog Albie at South Norwood Lake and Grounds Park

Frazer Scott with his dog Albie at South Norwood Lake and Grounds Park

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A testicular cancer patient recuperating after an operation was forced to walk miles to avoid being locked in a park overnight after watching a warden seal his exit before his eyes.

Frazer Scott was overjoyed to be feeling well enough to take his dog to the park for the first time since an operation to remove one of his testicles three weeks ago.

But this joy turned to anger when the testicular cancer sufferer was ‘locked in’ South Norwood Lake and Grounds park by an "extremely aggressive" park ranger and a five minute walk home turned into a 45 minute trek.

He checked the time of closing when he entered the park with his friend at 7.50pm and Jack Russell Albie on Saturday and made sure they were on their way out at 8.20pm, 10 minutes before closing time.

Mr Scott, 26, said: "As I am still in some pain from the operation, I had some difficulty keeping up with the ranger and, unfortunately, my friend and I reached the gate just as he was closing it.

"Upon seeing us, the ranger asked us ‘what is your problem?’ at which we were somewhat taken aback.

"He seemed to think that we had dragged our heels, delaying him from going home, after hearing him yell to us.

"I explained that I can't walk quickly and that I have cancer but we were sorry that we had taken so long.

"The ranger walked away from us, not giving us any information as to how to leave the park, muttering that gates close 30 minutes before the close of the park."

Mr Scott and his friend eventually got out of the park through an unlocked gate at the other end as he said the ranger would not reopen the gate nearest his house in Sylvan Road.

The opera singer added: "What if I had been an elderly person, on my own, with the nights drawing in, forced to walk a long way home.

"I would like the council to say that further training has been provided for this guy and for them to make it clear what has been done.

"I’m desperate that this doesn’t happen to anyone else."

A Croydon Council spokesman said: ""We have spoken with Mr Scott to apologise unreservedly for this incident.

"The ranger in question is being called in for a formal interview and at the very least will be sent for  customer care training.

"We will also review the wording of signage to ensure people are clear about when gates are closed."

Comments (5)

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8:54am Wed 13 Aug 14

Angela M says...

If the gates close 'half an hour before closing time', what exactly constitutes a park being closed? Surely if you can't get in or out by one or more exits, it's closed?

They should start doing that in shops - after 5pm everyone needs to exit via the store room.
If the gates close 'half an hour before closing time', what exactly constitutes a park being closed? Surely if you can't get in or out by one or more exits, it's closed? They should start doing that in shops - after 5pm everyone needs to exit via the store room. Angela M
  • Score: 4

9:20am Wed 13 Aug 14

concernedread says...

This does not make sense, South Norwood country park has loads of exits for pedestrians, they only lock the gates leading to the car park!
This does not make sense, South Norwood country park has loads of exits for pedestrians, they only lock the gates leading to the car park! concernedread
  • Score: -1

10:44am Wed 13 Aug 14

robert.fisk says...

To concernedread, this was a mistake in the editing process. Mr Scott was locked in at South Norwoood Lake and Grounds Park, not South Norwood Country Park.
To concernedread, this was a mistake in the editing process. Mr Scott was locked in at South Norwoood Lake and Grounds Park, not South Norwood Country Park. robert.fisk
  • Score: 2

7:19pm Wed 13 Aug 14

D Hoole says...

robert.fisk wrote:
To concernedread, this was a mistake in the editing process. Mr Scott was locked in at South Norwoood Lake and Grounds Park, not South Norwood Country Park.
GUARDIAN REPORTER SPOTS OWN MISTAKE : SHOCK !
[quote][p][bold]robert.fisk[/bold] wrote: To concernedread, this was a mistake in the editing process. Mr Scott was locked in at South Norwoood Lake and Grounds Park, not South Norwood Country Park.[/p][/quote]GUARDIAN REPORTER SPOTS OWN MISTAKE : SHOCK ! D Hoole
  • Score: 1

9:45pm Wed 13 Aug 14

JustinBiebersMonkey says...

The Park is South Norwood Lake. This warden was being a Jobs-Worth. We need more people using the parks, because the more that do, the more will come, and experience the uplifting joy at finding such beauty in South Norwood. Having an antisocial misery enforcing "rules is rules" by locking this recuperating cancer sufferer, who was trying to catch up, in the park, is dreadful PR.
The Park is South Norwood Lake. This warden was being a Jobs-Worth. We need more people using the parks, because the more that do, the more will come, and experience the uplifting joy at finding such beauty in South Norwood. Having an antisocial misery enforcing "rules is rules" by locking this recuperating cancer sufferer, who was trying to catch up, in the park, is dreadful PR. JustinBiebersMonkey
  • Score: 2

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