The campaign was set up by Kay Early – who was herself attacked in the park last summer – and her friend Claire Noble.
The call for extra safety measures also came after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in Alexandra Park last Sunday night. A 14-year-old boy was arrested in relation to the assault.
Then earlier this week, a woman was reportedly assaulted by a man while she was walking in Alexandra Park. On Thursday (March 25), a 26-year-old man from St Leonards was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, Sussex Police confirmed.
Kay Early, 33, was left with a black eye, cuts and bruises after she was repeatedly punched in the face by a man while she was walking in the park, on June 10, 2020.
She was walking her dog when a man, who had been following her, jumped her and proceeded to repeatedly punch her in the face.
She was unable to run away from him so she dropped to the ground and started ‘kicking him hard and fast in the gut and groin’.
She managed to get the attention of three women who were walking on the same stretch of path but her attacker ran from the scene. He stole Kay’s dog lead but none of her other possessions.
The incident was reported to the police and a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery, but the case has since been dropped.
Kay, who has suffered with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) since the attack, said she was told her case could have progressed if there had been extra surveillance in the park – somewhere she described as a ‘black spot’ for crime – to help track down the man who assaulted her.
She said: “I am now calling for lighting, CCTV and a police presence in the park.
“At present it is a black spot in the middle of a heavily populated town and it’s not just women who are unsafe, it’s men as well as our children.
“Let’s reclaim our spaces as a community, let’s fight back. Let’s make a noise about this and let’s make change happen. All people want to use our community spaces without fear.”
Kay and Claire started the petition a week ago and want to create an ‘indigo path’ which runs the entire length of the park which is fully surveilled by CCTV at all times, and protected with suitable lighting after dark.
The petition has passed 17,000 signatures. You can read about it here.
The pair have also set up a Facebook page called Make Alexandra Park Safe where people have been invited to talk about the matter and share their proposed solutions.