Our parks are not festival sites - respect them this weekend
Hackney Council is urging people to respect the borough’s parks this weekend, after unacceptable scenes at London Fields last Saturday saw the park left covered in litter; people urinating against trees, in people’s gardens and outside their front doors; defecation in the park’s woodland; and large groups gathering, loud music and noise continuing late into the night.
Residents in nearby streets and estates have reported significant disruption to their lives over recent weeks, with the behaviour in London Fields making them feel unwelcome in the park.
The Council has already put extensive measures in place to manage issues and prevent damage at London Fields and other parks: installing large bins, opening toilets (with additional cleaning), implementing additional summer waste collections earlier than usual, issuing over 300 fines for urinating and littering across Hackney, and printing dozens of banners reminding people of the guidance.
Following people’s behaviour over the last few weeks, there will now be additional security guards at London Fields this weekend to support parks and enforcement staff to keep it safe and clean.
The Council is also investigating further legal measures to tackle the issues, which it will announce next week, and it will recruit additional enforcement officers for the borough’s parks and other areas over the summer.
People visiting the borough’s parks this weekend are being asked to:
- Take rubbish home with them or put it in a bin
- Go home to use the toilet, and only use parks toilets if this isn’t possible
- Treat each other, the park, and its neighbours with respect.
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.
Hackney Council enforcement officers have been working hard alongside their parks colleagues to keep our parks open, issuing over 300 fines in recent weeks to tackle some of the unacceptable behaviour we have seen. Extra security guards will be in place this weekend, while we recruit additional officers to help to keep our parks safe and inclusive over the summer.
While the extra security staff and enforcement officers will help manage some of the issues in London Fields and around the borough, we’re urgently investigating further legal options to help reduce the pressure on the park and residents in nearby streets and estates.