Councillor sounds alarm over Elthorne Park’s ‘endemic street drinking’

Elthorne Park. Photograph: David Howard.

An Islington councillor has called for “robust” action to tackle her ward’s “endemic street drinking problem”.

Cllr Marian Spall (Lab, Hillrise) voiced her concerns in letters supporting reviews of the alcohol licences of two Hornsey Road supermarkets brought as a result of trading standards investigations in the area.

Savestore Express faces a revocation of its licence for the sale of suspectedly illicit alcohol, while a “lengthy suspension” could be slapped on the nearby Hornsey Road Supermarket for the sale of alcohol to a minor.

Cllr Spall said: “In Hillrise we suffer an endemic street drinking problem, particularly in Elthorne Park.

“I have witnessed previously people who I recognise as those street drinkers who gather in nearby Elthorne Park coming out of [these] premises.

“I believe that [these] premises seriously put the licensing objectives at risk by selling to people who are clearly already drunk, selling to children and selling smuggled or non-duty paid alcohol.

“We would like to have the premises which sell to those people dealt with robustly.”

A spokesperson for the Friends of Elthorne Park added: “Street drinkers have populated Elthorne Park for as long as I have lived in the area – 26 years.

“Most of us have learned to live alongside them. However, on occasion they cause antisocial behaviour, extreme littering, violence and crime.”

According to Camden and Islington Public Health, Islington experiences some of the highest levels of alcohol-related harm among children and young people in London.

The borough had the second-highest rate of alcohol-specific admission in under-18s between 2014 and 2017, with 46 youngsters admitted to hospital.

The two businesses will have a decision passed on their licenses at Islington’s 30 October licensing sub-committee.