Half Moon Bay Park community questions lack of lighting

Parents and the local community association want more lighting at Half Moon Bay Park in the Barrhaven area after two children were allegedly punched in an unlit area on Monday evening.

Community association says 2 children beat up in unlit park on Monday

Half Moon Bay Park was finished four years ago near the intersection of Cambrian and Jockvale Roads in the south Ottawa community of Barrhaven. It doesn't have lit paths, which some parents are raising concerns about. (CBC)

Parents and the local community association want more lighting at Half Moon Bay Park in Barrhaven after two children were allegedly beat up in an unlit area on Monday evening.

Sean Cusson lives near the park and said he knows two boys, aged nine and 11, who were allegedly punched by a group of teenagers on Monday evening.

Sean Cusson lives near Half Moon Bay Park and says he won't let his children play there after dark. (CBC)
"They got beat up pretty badly by the older kids and it happened in this area where you would expect someone to see something," he said.

However, Cusson said the four-year-old park is unlit at night so he's joining the Half Moon Bay Community Association in calling for more lighting.

"You can get away with stuff if it's dark," he said.

"So if there's lighting, my hope and the hope of a lot of other people is that someone would think twice before doing something like that because they'll be seen."

Lighting may make things worse

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder said what happened to the boys is upsetting, but she argued lighting isn't the answer.

Barrhaven councillor Jan Harder says what happened isn't common and people living near the park shouldn't be afraid. (CBC)

She said the city and police did a safety study of the park when it opened, which said the park is so big, it wouldn't be safe to put in lights along its paths.

"Well-lit areas create very dark areas elsewhere and actually contribute to more criminal activity," she said.

Harder said what happened Monday is an isolated incident and people living in the area should work more closely with police and community watch to stop these kinds of things from happening.

Ottawa police said the two boys have minor injuries and they're investigating the incident. No charges have been laid.


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