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Riverside parties making life a misery for Limehouse residents as revellers drink, take drugs and have sex

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 19 May 2020

High tide in Narrow Street. The gate has been removed. Picture: Steven Berkoff

High tide in Narrow Street. The gate has been removed. Picture: Steven Berkoff

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Celebrity residents claim their lives are being made a misery by drink and drug-fuelled Thameside “beach parties”.

Steven Berkoff said they don't mind people sunbathing during the day but the noise and swearing at night 'is awful'. Picture: PASteven Berkoff said they don't mind people sunbathing during the day but the noise and swearing at night 'is awful'. Picture: PA

Neighbours in apartment blocks in Limehouse, who include actor and playwright Steven Berkoff and newsreader John Suchet, say they have been forced to call the police dozens of times because of noise and anti-social behaviour.

Gates leading to the shoreline are usually closed at night, apart from one near Narrow Street.

A month ago residents took matters into their own hands and at sunset began locking the gate and reopening it in the morning. But Tower Hamlets Council responded by removing the gate on safety grounds and leaving the area open 24 hours.

Mr Berkoff, 82, whose plays include Greek, Sink The Belgrano and an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, said: “We have had groups of people smoking seriously strong drugs under our balcony with the smell drifting in through our windows, couples having sex under our balcony. People are constantly urinating against our home.

John Suchet said he thought removal of the gate was 'extremely dangerous'. Picture: PAJohn Suchet said he thought removal of the gate was 'extremely dangerous'. Picture: PA

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“We’ve been sworn at and threatened and had to call police on a number of occasions. Of course people come to the beach in the daytime and make noise and sunbathe and we don’t mind that at all. But at night it’s awful.”

Other residents claim the removal of the gate is dangerous and say the council is “ignoring” their warnings.

Mr Suchet said: “I am not affected by the anti-social behaviour because of where my home is, but I know my neighbours’ lives are being made a misery. It seems very odd to remove the gate and in my opinion extremely dangerous.

“At low tide it is a lovely beach but at high tide, when the water is right up to the buildings, it smacks against the wall. It would only take someone who has had a few too many to fall in and they will drown. There must be a better solution than the council just essentially removing the gate and now ignoring our warnings.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is committed to working with partners including the police, to tackle crime. We encourage anyone experiencing antisocial behaviour to report incidents on our website or to the police. There is a public right of way at Ratcliffe Wharf. Locking the gate to the stairs presents a potential danger to public safety. If the gate is locked and there is a member of the public on the beach, they may become trapped with no means of exit.

“We decided to remove the gate to prevent this from happening.”


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