Reports of illegal activity increased nearly 800% in June
Two The Stone Roses concerts earlier this year have been blamed for a near 800% increase in crime in the Finsbury Park area of London.
The band performed two sell-out shows in Finsbury Park on June 7 and 8, their first major dates in the capital since reforming in 2011. However, police figures issued today (August 19) show that instances of crime in the area of North London increased hugely in the same month as the gigs. 195 incidents were reported in June, some 175 more than the 20 reported the previous month in May. Similarly, just 16 crimes were reported in April of this year.
The Hackney Gazette reports that these figures pushed the area into the top 10 worst areas for crime in the UK for June, prompting fears future concerts may not take place in the park. Crimes reported over the weekend of June 7-8 include instances of violent brawls, public urination and robbery from motor vehicles.
Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “The Finsbury Park ward is the one I remain concerned about. We have had a dispersal zone in a part of that neighbourhood, but there is a great deal that has happened around Finsbury Park and we are trying to take action. But this rise may well be something to do with the Stone Roses gig. There was a lot of disorder and unpleasant behaviour with people urinating everywhere.”
Richard Wilson, Haringey council’s leader of the Lib Dem opposition, also spoke out, adding: “It’s really, really worrying that there has been such a big spike around the event and we need to ask questions of the council and police seeing as they want to increase the number of commercial concerts going on there.”
A 24-year-old woman died in hospital after falling at The Stone Roses’ Glasgow Green gig, which took place shortly after the Finsbury Park gigs on June 15. The woman was among the 50,000 fans who attended the gig this weekend. As many as 24 arrests were made for anti-social and drug offences at the Glasgow gig, which was the site of the classic line-up of the band’s last ever show together on June 9, 1990, before they reunited in 2011.