Coronavirus: London park bans alcohol after ‘urination and defecation’

DJ and crowds at London Fields Image copyright Hackney Council
Image caption Playing amplified music is also banned under the injunction

Alcohol has been banned in a London park after “weeks of unacceptably high levels of litter, public urination and defecation and disturbance to local people”, a council has said.

Hackney Council said thousands of people had been using London Fields, with DJs “setting up sound systems”.

An injunction making the consumption of alcohol and littering a criminal offence was granted on Friday.

It will initially be in place for a week.

The council said the ban would enforced by its officers and the police.

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “London Fields is not a festival site – it’s a vital green space for everyone.

“We’ve heard so many stories from local people – many with no outside space of their own – who feel excluded from the park and whose lives are being made a misery because of littering, urinating, defecating and drunken behaviour.”

Other things banned under the injunction are damaging wildlife, possessing, consuming or selling nitrous oxide, laughing gas or CO2, playing loud amplified music, lighting fires or barbecues, driving vehicles and using generators.

Image copyright Hackney Council
Image caption Bins have been overflowing at London Fields during recent weekends, the council says

The council said it had issued 193 fines at London Fields for urinating, defecating and littering in May and June, compared to just nine in the previous 12 months, and 13 antisocial behaviour warning notices in May, compared to six in the previous 12 months.

Image copyright Hackney Council
Image caption Laughing gas canisters were among the litter left behind at London Fields in recent weeks

The announcement sparked a mixed response on Twitter.

While some users welcomed the ban and asked if it could be extended to their neighbourhoods, one referred to it as a “hollow win” for the council and a “colossal waste of resources”.

The injunction will be reviewed on 9 July.