Parents fear Highbury Fields homeless are endangering children

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Islington Council are moving homeless people from Highbury Fields over child safety fears. Photo: Joseph Scrimshire
Islington Council are moving homeless people from Highbury Fields over child safety fears. Photo: Joseph Scrimshire
Islington Council are moving homeless people from Highbury Fields over child safety fears. Photo: Joseph Scrimshire
Islington Council are moving homeless people from Highbury Fields over child safety fears. Photo: Joseph Scrimshire

Parents have expressed concern over homeless people sleeping in Highbury Fields.

Jane, a 34-year-old mother of two, said: “I heard that eight months ago, a child came across a rough sleeper with needles.”

She added that she feels uncomfortable taking her children to the park and wants to move elsewhere, but other parents insist Highbury is still a safe area in which to live.

Charelle Dal, a 22-year-old nanny, said: “I don’t see what the big deal is, there are rough sleepers outside McDonald’s but people still take their kids there.”

A playground fence was broken on 19 October, causing Islington Council to take action against those sleeping in the park.

Richard Watts, the council leader, explained: “There’s been a big rise in homelessness over the last year.

“The council has a duty towards rough sleepers but it’s difficult to go much beyond our legal responsibilities given the demand.”

Bhupesh Thapa, the council’s parks manager, said: “The rough sleepers are being monitored, housed or moved on as best as possible.”

Highbury Fields’ park team is looking into replacing the fence with a “prickly hedge”.