Concerns over Victoria Park Olympic event

Victoria Park - Photo: Ewan-M (Flickr)

Residents local to Victoria Park expressed fears of anti-social behaviour during the Olympic Games at a public meeting.

The park is one of four ‘Festival Live Sites’ in the capital, which will show the Games on the big screen. EastLondonLines first reported in November of residents’ concerns about the impact on the park and the surrounding area.

The meeting on Tuesday, organised by Richard Joseph Desmond, allowed residents to ask how events would be policed, as well as crowd dispersal plans following Olympic events, especially around Mile End and Bethnal Green tube stations.

As well as residents, council officers were also in attendance, including Stephen Halsey from the communities, localities and culture directorate, corporate director and deputy chief executive, Heather Bonfield, as well as interim service head, cultural services and Andy Bamber, head of community safety.

A local newspaper representative from Mile End said: “During the Second World War, a tragic accident happened in Bethnal Green tube station when a crowd of people fell down from the steps and some people died.

“Imagine 30,000 people coming out of the park, how can tube stations be safe enough unless there are enough precautions and barriers. As residents, so far we have seen nothing done by the council.”

As well as health and security worries, there were also concerns about who would clean the park.

Bow resident Ayman, 31, said: “People from all over the world will come to enjoy the games and leave soon after but we will keep living in this area which is our social environment. Who is taking responsibility for keeping Victoria Park clean?

“Summer is generally the best weather period in this country and we would like to enjoy it as much as we can, like in the past years, although we appreciate the long-term benefits of the games.”

Another resident complained about the unavailability of Victoria Park during the weekdays and two weeks after the Olympics.

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