Dark and eerie it might be, but police say community events can play an integral role in bringing light to Haig Park.
As Electric Avenues prepares to transform the lonely fir-treed corridor into a hive of music, art and entertainment this Friday, it can be revealed events are one strategy police recommended the government employ to reclaim Haig Park as it prepares a masterplan for the precinct.
In a risk assessment for the ACT government, published under freedom of information laws, ACT Policing recommended the community hold more events in the inner-city park, among a raft of changes to make the urban forest less foreboding.
Officers who assessed the park said there was poor lighting, with lights either poorly maintained or obscured by trees and litter, dumping and drinking in the park was rarely dealt with.
But it's not just darkness and rubbish that had contributed to Haig park's foreboding reputation, police acknowledged.
Their assessment noted multiple crime reports in and around the park from 2011 to September 18 last year including: one homicide, three assaults, two sexual assaults, four robberies, one fraud, nine stolen cars, five cases of property damage, four drug arrests, three fires, six drunks and 12 suspicious or wanted people.
They also found the drains on the Turner side as well as the toilets and depot provided "entrapment opportunities".
As part of their risk control plan, police recommended placing vandal proof lighting along pathways, adjacent streets and in barbecue and seating areas.
They recommended trimming vegetation around lights, drains, bridges, car parks and other "entrapment pockets".
The plan said trees should be trimmed to head height, depending on the species, shrubbery not impacted by heritage restrictions should be removed and vegetation should be cleared where possible to 3-5 metres away from pathways.
Information and wayfinding signs should be installed and grating should be placed over the drainage tunnel entry on the Turner side to keep kids out.
Most critically, police said community events like fetes, markets, busking, or petting zoos should be encouraged in the park.
The risk control plan will inform the development of the Haig Park masterplan, due to be finalised in 2018.
Consultation on the masterplan opened again in February, five years after a draft plan for the site was first developed.
Economic Development director-general David Dawes said the new master plan would be based on the 2012 one but a lot had changed in the intervening years, particularly with the development of light rail.
Stretching from Froggatt Street in Turner to Limestone Avenue in Braddon, Haig Park could be the only park in the country that will have a tram running through its centre.
"While a draft masterplan was prepared in 2012 a lot has changed in the area around Haig Park in the five years since," Mr Dawes said.
"The increased densification in the surrounding area, significant changes to the way people use the neighbouring Lonsdale and Mort streets and the imminent introduction of light rail all potentially impact how and when people would like to use Haig Park."
Meanwhile a new footpath and lighting will be installed down the centre of the park to address security concerns in the Braddon area of the park.
The ACT government approved a $678,000 tender in January to improve lighting and reconstruct footpaths within the park linking Henty Street to the north through to Mort and Lonsdale Street to the south.
Paths will also be widened and tree canopies trimmed to improve visibility in the notorious areas of the park.