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Home | News | Latest News | The Art of Safer Parking takes to the streets of Manchester

The Art of Safer Parking takes to the streets of Manchester

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Posted in Latest News by PM on 10:03 27th July, 2017

PC Dave Fisher from Greater Manchester Police joined British Parking Association and Safer Parking Scheme Area Manager, Mark Osmond at the bus depot in Sharston to view the Park Mark advert close up.

The campaign brings into focus the elements usually taken for granted but essential to ensuring car parks are kept to a high standard.  The hidden elements such as cleaning, lighting, design and the environment brings people behind the scenes into the foreground in a subtle way. 

This bus depicts one of 4 images created for the campaign and features the National Grid's award winning green wall car park.  The diversity in car park design demonstrates that the scheme's criteria can be attained by different, but effective methods.  The National Grid's car park has wide open spaces allowing for good surveillance by passing pedestrians whereas many multi-storey car parks will utilise CCTV.  Lighting plays an enormous part in making car parks feel safer.  Natural light creates airiness whereas standard interior lighting is being replaced more and more by LED lighting as it provides brighter illumination and is more cost effective.  Both types of light eliminate dark areas and shadows are reduced.

Mark Osmond, area manager at the British Parking Association who manage the scheme said: “People want an environment that looks pleasant and has plenty of light.  Car parks are just a functional space that people don’t spend much time in, but if in poor condition it is likely people won’t want to use it at all.  Well maintained car parks in good condition often go unnoticed as our expectations are being met.  The campaign illustrates the work that goes on behind the scenes to prevent crime and the fear of crime in car parks.”

Research undertaken by the British Parking Association has shown that people place personal safety alongside destination as top priorities when choosing somewhere to park, followed by a safe environment.  The campaign focuses on the safer parking scheme criteria that are known to reduce crime and the fear of crime in car parks and aims to bring the scheme’s brand into people’s consciousness so that they know what to look for.  The National Grid's green wall was used as a backdrop for the models to show that the scheme is for, and about people as much as it is about cars and that the environment plays an important role.

Artist Carolyn Roper talked about the techniques used: ‘It shows how people can just disappear, you don’t see them doing really important jobs,’ she said. ‘I think this is a great way of drawing attention to something that people normally wouldn’t pay much attention to. The public don’t really think about what goes into making a car park safe, and it would probably be a hard subject to make them interested in. That’s where body painting is so useful; it makes people want to look – it has that head-turning effect – and can really highlight the work and the effort that goes into making car parks a safer place to be.’

A behind-the-scenes, time-lapse video that shows the models being painted for the photoshoot can be viewed here.

Manchester was chosen as an ideal city to promote the Safer Parking Scheme with its many transport links. “Having a bus driving around Manchester will hopefully prompt people to think about where they leave their car, particularly for longer stays such as airports“, says Mark Osmond, BPA area manager.  "When the scheme was first introduced to Manchester's car parks the drop in vehicle related crime was really significant and it has been kept that way with continuous effort.

“There are 285 Park Mark accredited car parks in the Greater Manchester region of which 89 are in Manchester city.  This is a great achievement and a real commitment by car park operators and owners to provide safer facilities for their customers.”

Crime prevention is an efficient use of resources and as vehicle related crime in car parks costs the economy around a billion pounds a year in England and Wales, it is the aim of the BPA and Police Crime Prevention that the scheme continues to grow.  At present there are around 5,000 Park Mark car parks in the UK out of an estimated 20,000 in total. 

Follow us on Twitter @Safer_Parking  or Facebook, Park Mark – the Safer Parking Scheme

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