At last night’s Ealing Safer Neighbourhood Board (ESNB) meeting, Cllr Joanna Dabrowska was the only person to turn up to represent residents and put forward their concerns about the upcoming Lovebox festival and other similar events.
The Lovebox festival is coming to Gunnersbury Park on 13th and 14th July together with the Citadel festival on 15th July. The move comes after Tower Hamlets turned down its application to continue in Victoria Park and Lambeth residents blocked its move to Brockwell Park.
Issues raised at the meeting were:
- Crowd control outside of the Park
- Single tube station access strategy
- North Circular Road (A406) crossing
- Alcohol consumption
- Anti-social behaviour (especially after the event)
- Knife and gun crime
- Knife arches (at the festival)
- Music inciting gang culture
- Who is paying for the policing around the event?
- Blanket licence for outdoor events at Gunnersbury Park
- Post-event dispersal
One of the reasons the event has moved from its East London location and refused in South London is due to the major increase in associated crime.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request reveals that the last available crime statistics associated with the festival provides shocking reading:
- Theft and handling – 33
(theft from person 19, other theft 13, handling stolen goods 1)
- Drugs – 19
(possession of drugs 13, drugs trafficking 6)
- Violence against the person – 9
(offensive weapon 5, assault with injury 2, common assault 1, harassment 1)
- Sexual offences – 2
Cllr Joanna Dabrowska says, “I am sure residents agree with me that the anti-social behaviour issues surrounding the Lovebox Festival are serious and quite scary for local residents. I am concerned about both [Ealing and Hounslow] Councils’ “let’s see how it goes” attitude rather than being proactive before things happen“.