Spitalfields residents ‘barricaded in homes’ as boozy revellers descend on parks for weekend parties

PUBLISHED: 11:55 04 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:06 04 June 2013

Canisters from legal highs in Allen Gardens after crowds took the park

Canisters from legal highs in Allen Gardens after crowds took the park


Thousands of rowdy revellers using legal highs and downing booze in parks are leaving residents under siege in their homes.

Litter strewn across Allen Gardens, SpitalfieldsLitter strewn across Allen Gardens, Spitalfields

Just weeks after authorities announced a “dispersal zone” to tackle anti-social behaviour, people are too scared to venture outside their front doors as youths party in green spaces, leaving a trail of urine and smashed bottles.

Speaking after thousands of revellers descended on Allen Gardens in Spitalfields this weekend, a resident of nearby Woodseer Street, who did not wish to be named, said: “People were drinking, taking drugs, and using the street as a toilet.

“I felt scared to go out, and I’m 6ft 4in. I knew it would lead to confrontation, so I chose to stay barricaded in my home.”

Others reported glass bottles being lobbed into gardens, and drumming until 2am. One woman was sitting in her greenhouse when a “missile” shattered the roof above her head, showering her with glass.

Broken glass in Allen Gardens after the weekend's anticsBroken glass in Allen Gardens after the weekend's antics

Residents said police presence had decreased in recent weeks, despite the new “dispersal zone” introduced by the Met and Tower Hamlets Council in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour last month. The park is in the middle of the targeted area – but was described by locals as a “lawless zone”.

Empty gas canisters from legal highs and shards of broken glass were strewn across the field on Monday morning.

An actress, who lives in Buxton Street said people go to Allen Gardens after clubs in nearby Brick Lane stop serving.

“Everyone’s raving all night and swallowing massive amounts of drugs, and they come here instead of going home,” she said.

“I am so stressed and scared. I’m not against the culture, but you have got to have some respect.”

A Tower Hamlets Police spokesman said they are “fully aware” of the disorder in the area, and said additional officers were being deployed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

A council spokeswoman added: “Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers have been tasked to patrol this area to address street drinking and anti-social behaviour, and we would expect to see results from this during June.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser