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‘London Fields is not a festival site’ says Cllr Jon Burke

PUBLISHED: 13:10 29 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 29 June 2020

90 per cent of the 171 fines issued at London Fields since lockdown began have been for urination. Picture: Polly Richards

90 per cent of the 171 fines issued at London Fields since lockdown began have been for urination. Picture: Polly Richards

Polly Richards

Hackney council is once again urging residents to respect the borough’s parks after “unacceptable scenes” of people urinating, defecating and littering at London Fields continue to be reported.

The Council and residents have complained about people using London Fields as a festival site and public loo. A group uses London Fields as a toilet behind a sign stating : The Council and residents have complained about people using London Fields as a festival site and public loo. A group uses London Fields as a toilet behind a sign stating : "It's a park not a toilet! Go home if you need to go." Picture: @LondonFields12

Angry residents have taken to twitter to vent frustration over people using London Fields, neighbouring streets, doorways and other surfaces as a “public loo”.

Hackney Council Environmental Chief Cllr Jon Burke said: “London Fields is not a festival site - it’s for everyone in the community. Yet again, last weekend saw thoroughly unacceptable behaviour in the park, with sound systems, urinating, defecating, excessive amounts of litter and noise well into the night.

“Our staff are working tirelessly to keep parks maintained and safe for those who don’t have outside space, but the selfish actions of a few are preventing local residents from being able to enjoy the park. We’ve already taken extensive measures - at significant cost to the council - but are continuing to work with residents on further measures.”

A police officer hands out a fine for urination. Picture: @LondonFields12A police officer hands out a fine for urination. Picture: @LondonFields12

READ MORE: Councillor angered by people partying on Hackney Marshes

The toilets at London Fields are open to park users but a combination of long queues, the availability of alcohol in the area and subsequent consumption as well as illegal street parties has meant people taking to the streets to relieve themselves - much to the dismay of residents living near the park.

Twitter user @LondonFields12, who asked to be referred to by their online handle, said: “People constantly urinating, defecating & vomiting in front of our flat at London Fields.

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“[We] have seen some fines issued but it’s ongoing and out of hand [and we] can see it all out of our front window and in front of our kids.

“[Our] disabled neighbour is having to guard her garden. Every weekend - [it] needs to stop.”

Since the start of lockdown the council says it has issued 171 fines at London Fields for littering and urination. They say 90 per cent of the fines handed out were for urination and during last week alone 58 fines were issued.

READ MORE: Hackney Council runs out of paper issuing park littering and urinating fines

Another resident, who preferred not to be named, told the Gazette about similar issues in Millfields Park in Lower Clapton. They spoke of large gatherings and “bikes, booze, kids, barbecues and litter”.

They told the Gazette: “These people have maybe defected from London Fields. We don’t want this either!”

An enhanced policing operation was implemented across London on June 25 to deal with unlicensed music events, block parties and raves.

Commander Bas Javid said: “We remain in a public health crisis and these unlicensed events are illegal. Our role is to keep our communities safe and people can expect to see a heightened police presence out in areas where we know these events are taking place. This is in direct response to concerns expressed by our communities, many of whom were scared and shocked by the events taking place outside their homes.

“We have taken the decision to deploy these additional officers in enhanced personal protective equipment. We want to reassure communities that this is as a precautionary measure for the safety of our officers, and they will continue to engage with the communities they police.”


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