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Community and living, Community Safety

Brixton Splash

Lambeth council has decided to turn down an application for Brixton Splash 2016 because of concerns over public safety and organisation.

The annual street festival was set up in 2006 by Ros Griffiths and other prominent Brixtonians as a community run event, celebrating the cultural diversity and history of Brixton.

The 2015 event saw a large number of complaints from residents, many local businesses closed and the cost of policing and cleaning up afterwards running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A Lambeth council spokesperson said: “Sadly, last year’s event became a victim of its own success and we need to pause it for this year, let the community take it back to its roots as a safe, fun event for everyone with professional organisation.

“Road closures, a lack of stewards and inadequate crowd control have added to a sense from local people that the event is too big, too uncontrolled and potentially dangerous.”

Lambeth council, along with partners including police, transport and business raised concerns with the event’s organisers, but say they have failed to address those concerns sufficiently.

Ros Griffiths said: “The community needs to reclaim this as a celebration of Brixton, not a free for all that creates chaos, mess and unease.

“I hope local people and businesses will rise to that challenge and get involved with planning Brixton Splash for 2017 that can once again be a safe, fun and genuine community event.

“We want to make the community and partners proud to be a part of Splash Brixton going forward”.

Notes
• More than 900 police officers were deployed at a cost of around £500,000
• There were 40 arrests, 1 fire arms seized. 31 crimes, 12 thefts, 9 thefts in person, 1 ABH, 1 common assault.
• The event was licensed for 15,000 people – more than double that number arrived just via Brixton Tube
• Crowd and traffic congestion led to delays on major routes including Acre Lane and the A23
• Fire and ambulance service raised concerns about dangerous crush of people and inadequate stewarding or escape routes
• Flagrant drug use, illegal trading, urination, litter, broken glass and other anti social behaviour
• Lambeth council waived its staff and hire costs and sponsors picked up the £15,000 bill for cleaning up the streets which took more than 24 hours

A debrief report on Brixton Splash 2015 can be found here: http://www.eventlambeth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Brixton-Splash-2015-Debrief-Minutes.pdf

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