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Burgess Park is now a ‘hotspot’ for public sexual activity – even in broad daylight

A mother with young children stumbled across a group of men engaging in lewd sex acts at eight in the morning in the middle of Burgess Park.

The incident occurred on Sunday, August 16, with a witness telling the News that the ‘distraught’ woman quickly hurried her kids away after they saw three men mid-sex acts in the woods near the park lake.

Residents have reported a rise in condoms and used tissues being found in wooded areas of the park and report seeing men ‘cruising’ for casual sex at all times of the day.

Disturbingly, the park appears to be gaining a relatively newfound reputation as a hotspot for sexual activity, with a number of twitter accounts advertising porn videos featuring indecent acts recorded in the park in daylight hours.

In a series of messages publicly posted on Twitter in the last few weeks one man advertised the fact he appears to have had four sessions of apparently unprotected sex in the park.

Another man posted a video of himself engaging in sex acts involving urination while ‘having my morning stroll’, while a further person replied: “Is Burgess Park the new gay dogging spot or sutin? [sic]”

In an update posted on the NextDoor social networking site on Monday, August 17, Southwark Police said they were aware of “public sexual activity in secluded areas” of the park.

Dedicated Ward Officer, Liam Atterbury, said: “We are currently working with the council and targeting patrols on the affected areas. It is of paramount importance that we protect all who use the park.”

There has also been no let up for residents appalled by the number of all-night parties keeping them up at night.

It is hoped a new government crack-down, which will see unlicensed event organisers face fines of up to £10,000, will help prevent further large-scale raves complete with sound systems.

A dispersal zone was in force in Camberwell Green and surrounding areas on Friday, August 14 until Sunday, August 16, in an attempt to stop gatherings from escalating.

As the News has reported, over the last few months some parties have turned violent, with police seizing weapons while dispersing crowds.

Various events were advertised on Facebook and Twitter in the run up to the weekend, including a picnic in the park organised and advertised by Potter’s House Church, a music event with live DJ sets marketed as ‘Francophone Party in the Park’.

The council and police have redoubled their outreach efforts, contacting organisers and encouraging them to cancel gatherings.

Neighbourhood inspector Tom Cornish told residents via NextDoor last week: “I realise how these events in Burgess Park are causing misery for local residents and park users.

“We face an unprecedented challenge this summer with hot weather combined with the closure of nightclubs and music festivals (meaning that these events draw a larger crowd) compounded by concerns about breaches of COVID-19 regulations.

“Local police are working relentlessly with Southwark Council to identify these events on social media, contact the organisers to ensure they are cancelled and intercept them if there is any risk they will go ahead. We have already stopped dozens of events and large parties.

“You can help us by alerting us to any such events in Burgess Park you spot on social media and by ensuring that young people you know realise that they are unsafe and unlawful.

“The Metropolitan Police Service has large numbers of officers on standby every weekend to intervene early and stop these activities before they escalate.”

Meanwhile a team of hugely considerate volunteers have been supporting the council’s park wardens in keeping the park as clean and tidy as possible. Among them are those from Southwark GoodGym, First Place and residents.

But despite all their efforts, every morning seems to bring a fresh mountain of waste.

Rubbish in Burgess Park in early August (c) Beth Wilson


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