Christ Church Green anti-social behaviour plan

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Redbridge Council is proposing to introduce new rules on what can and can’t be done in its parks, including Christ Church Green and George Green, which would tackle a range of anti-social behaviours.

The measures, known as a Public Spaces Protection Order, would include:

  • Drinking alcohol (when asked to stop by an authorised officer)
  • Damaging trees and plants
  • Using or selling drugs
  • Urination, spitting and begging
  • Holding informally organised events, except those authorised by the council
  • Loitering in groups and refusing to disperse (when asked by an authorised officer)
  • Flying drones
  • Littering

A public consultation (available here) is currently asking for views on the proposals. If approved, the plan would bring Christ Church Green into line with the rules introduced two years ago on the High Street.

The consultation comes after Redbridge proposed to set up a café kiosk on the green which would have an alcohol licence and through which small events could be organised. There were objections from some nearby residents who feared the licence could lead to problem drinking on the green, but a PSPO would give the council the powers to intervene if it happened. It is thought the kiosk proposal might be resubmitted in a new form.

16 thoughts on “Christ Church Green anti-social behaviour plan”

  1. I am concerned about some of the powers that Redbridge Council seeks to award itself . I think this would diminish people’s enjoyment of parks without good reason. A couple of examples:

    They want to ban alcohol. If people undertake in anti-social behaviour that should be dealt with e.g. by whatever law stops people fighting. You should not bar people from having a drink just to give you an easy way to crack down on the few who do mischief.

    The Council also argues in its consultation: ‘Unofficial events and gatherings can attract large crowds (&) can attract alcohol or drug use, or other activities such as bonfires, fireworks, and paper lanterns.” Note the biased question. Such large groups may also attract soft drinks, party napkins and birthday cake. There are, in part, what a park is for. Leave them alone. No PSPO.

  2. Totally agree Clive. That word ‘can’ is critical. Unofficial events ‘can’ attract little green men from Mars. Dosn’t mean they do.

  3. Those who have known Wanstead over decades are probably dismayed that this sort of action is thought necessary. But it is certainly necessary elsewhere, and Wanstead is vulnerable to those same changes in society and attitudes that we see elsewhere. I am prepared to believe that the council is trying to preserve what we value in our open spaces rather than to assume unnecessary powers.

  4. Lots of families organise small birthday parties in parks for their youngstets. It is simply wrong that the council should seek to control and licence small family and friends gatherings. Concentrate on identifying the few incidents that cause real problems.

    1. definitely. the green has been a lifeline this year for families to meet and celebrate outdoors when it is impossible at hone.

  5. It seems very unlikely they would be thinking about youngsters’ birthday parties, Geoff. The intro to the consultation says:

    “The majority of parks users treat the spaces, and other users with respect. Unfortunately a significant minority do not respect the parks in Redbridge and fellow users. This has a detrimental effect on other users of the park and is something we work hard to address. Unfortunately the current measures we are able to take are not always sufficient, and putting in place a PSPO for parks and green spaces will enable the Council to take enforcement action against the minority who cause a nuisance, for the benefit of the majority who do the right thing and respect parks and other parks users.”

    Personally it feels to me (Wansteadium) that they’re talking about having the powers in case they need them, if things get out of hand or if people are abusing the common space. But then Wansteadium is known for being enormously reasonable.

  6. Your article seems to imply that a PSPO does not already exist on Christ Church Green, whereas I believe this was discussed in comments on the “kiosk” story a while ago. Can you clarify whether or not a PSPO does already exist on the greem?
    Also, as I understand it, George Green is not owned by Redvridge Council but by the Corporation of London. Surely they would have a say in the introduction of a PSPO on their land?

    1. I think the earlier PSPO was just the high street, though am not completely sure. Will check. Re George Green – yes, was surprised to see it included in the list because of the Corporation issue, but it’s definitely there.

  7. Informal groups/ no alcohol! Are we under military rule?
    Isn’t just anti social behaviour enough of a rule , this is sour grapes because we objected to the cafe?
    The green needs more bins and possibly a no gatherings after 9pm .

    1. This is a whole-of-Redbridge proposal – it’s not targeting Christ Church Green. It’s just that it’s the spot we’re most interested in.

      1. In response to the Wansteadium comment along the lines of ‘don’t worry, they will only target groups causing a problem’ I would not be confident that is how such powers would be used, e.g. if you are playing rap with your group, I’d guess you might well be moved along etc a lot quicker than if playing other types of music.

        And the Council text shows their thinking – “Unfortunately a significant minority do not respect the parks in Redbridge” What’s a ‘significant minority’? 15-20%? How many people in Redbridge parks cause problems (and I use many, including Loxford, Valentines and Wanstead) – maybe 1%?

        The Council should not give themselves powers that may well be used to diminish, not improve, people’s use of parks e.g. there will be an obligation to hand over even sealed containers of alcohol “in order to prevent public nuisance or disorder”. That’s open to wide interpretation.

  8. To all you Big Brother pundits, l don’t think the police will descend on a children’s birthday party or a few friends sitting around having a drink. You know very well we now have anti-social problems in and around Christchurch Green. Go there at night and see the cars parked with music thumping, people drinking alcohol, and throwing their litter on the ground. Also smell the marijuana. And if you want to score some drugs l’m sure it’s a good place to do it. I think we should rename the Green, Marijuana Meadow, to reflect it’s change of use. I’ve even witnessed people smoking during the day. They also smoke and make a nuisance of themselves in the church grounds now. However, all very well imposing new restrictions, but will they be enforced – not a chance!

    1. I don’t know if I’m unique but I haven’t seen a police officer on the beat in Wanstead for 2 or 3 years. Before that we saw patrols in pairs occasionally but they were always busy in conversation between themselves… engagement with local people.
      Where is Dixon of Dock Green when we need him!

    1. Suggest you keep your racist comments to yourself. Dare say you would have something to say if someone said on here, ‘just a bunch of angry black people with an opinion…’ in the dismissive tone of your comment!

  9. I think David Davies is right. And the authorities want to have these measures in place before the summer, because they are justifiably worried about the sort of activities David refers to, and because there will be far more young people around this summer than usual because of restrictions on travel etc. I expect their experiences last summer have informed their opinion. Councillors who want to be re-elected don’t go around harrassing children’s parties. But they do want to be able to show to parents and the retired that they are conscous of anti-social behaviour in the parks and are prepared for it should it arise. It’s just plain wrong to assume that all powers are dictatorial and that councillors are tin-pot despots. That’s just knee-jerk tabloid nonsense.

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