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Anti-social behaviour in Hammersmith & Fulham angers residents

Anti-social behaviour in Hammersmith & Fulham has angered residents and caused them to complain.

Large groups have been gathering along the riverside and sitting on private walls in Bishop’s Park and Fulham Reach, upsetting inhabitants who have accused them of smoking cannabis and urinating publicly.

Security patrols have been installed along the river walkway but the area has remained busy since the coronavirus restrictions easing and the weather warming.

Councillor Amanda Lloyd-Harris represents the Palace Riverside Ward on Hammersmith & Fulham Council and has lived in Fulham for 25 years.

She said: “People are frightened, in some cases, to go out.

“People are allowed out there if they use the river walk and it’s public, so they should be able to do that.

“But it’s not acceptable to be drinking in these areas in public, or urinating in front of residents.”

The river path is a public area, however there are still some restrictions in place, such as a ban on jogging and cycling along the path from 10am-3pm.

There are fears that these problems will escalate with the coming summer and the end of lockdown.

Lloyd-Harris believes that there needs to be a distinction made between anti-social behaviour and people using the river path for exercise and enjoying their neighbourhood.

She also admitted that the signage can be confusing and so it can be difficult for residents to express their concerns or understand what is permitted.

The council have put in place a new enforcement team to patrol along the river path, yet for Councillor Lloyd-Harris there needs to be more facilities for bored youths.

She also drew attention to the bigger problems of education and communication between different generations in the community.

She said: “These issues are nothing new, I think, just more visible.

“But just because there’s a group of young people, doesn’t mean they’re doing anything wrong. We don’t start pigeonholing people.

“When I was a child, my father would say we’ll find something to do.

“I’m sure there is a way of connecting us with groups in the community, so they can engage and see what the impact is.

“Some of them may not have older relatives or may not have an extended family, they may not actually understand this because they have no experience with it.”

Featured image credit: George Rex via Flickr through CC BY-SA 2.0 license

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