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July 23, 2011

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Park's night lure leads to gate-scaling

NIGHT intruders who frequently climb over a 3-meter-tall metal gate to sneak into a popular downtown park are putting their lives at risk, park officials warned yesterday.

They don't intend to commit crimes, officials with Luxun Park in Hongkou District said. Instead, many of the people, who range from youngsters to seniors, simply want to take a summertime stroll in the park after it closes.

The rush of late-hour invaders has emerged lately with the onset of summer's hot days.

"People enjoy spending time at the park on summer evenings," said a park official. "But we cannot keep the parks open around the clock."

To meet growing demand, the park has extended daily operations by one hour in summer, delaying the close until 7pm. Nevertheless, on every recent evening after 7pm, a flow of intruders would climb over the park gate, according to witnesses.

It is a dangerous practice, said park managers, who fear that visitors could have their clothes hooked by the sharp-ended bars atop the gate, accidentally fall or otherwise get hurt.

They have erected warning signs near the gate but that has not affected the late-hour intruders' flow, park officials said.

They said some intruders are migrants who want to sleep in the park to escape their apartments, which often lack air conditioning.

Some other downtown parks have reported similar incidents, but with intruders entering early in the morning. Some seniors who get up very early don't want to wait until the parks open to start their summer morning exercises.


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