Camden Council successful prosecution for unlicensed busking
Response to the decision at Highbury Magistrates Court yesterday (3 March) – Camden Council prosecution of unlicensed street performers.
Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Camden Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“We are rightly proud of Camden’s worldwide reputation for music and it’s vibrant street atmosphere. We encourage street performers to play, but need to balance this with the needs of our local residents, who can experience excessive noise nuisance, particularly from those playing amplified music."
“We welcome the outcome on 3 March at Highbury Magistrates Court where two unlicensed street entertainers pleaded guilty to various charges following breaches of Camden’s Street Entertainment policy. Our Policy requires street performers to obtain a licence to perform.
“In these particular cases, before deciding to pursue prosecution, we had provided informal advice on how to apply for a licence, and issued written warnings. Our decision to prosecute has been vindicated by today’s result and further illustrates the Council’s determination to protect our residents from disturbance.
“We continue to welcome street performers and have issued 34 street entertainment licences in the last 6 months. There is no excuse for buskers not to apply for a licence. A standard licence costs £19, a licence for amplified music costs £47 and can be applied for easily online.
“Those failing to comply should be clear that action will follow and we have shown that we continue to protect local communities from nuisance and ensure those performing performing in Camden continue to follow the rules.”
Camden has adopted powers under the London Local Authorities Act 2000 that allows us to license street entertainment.
Alfredo Garcia and Alexander Hackett both of SE14 attended Court and entered guilty pleas to busking without a street entertainment licence.
Mr Garcia was charged with 5 offences of busking in Camden Town and was ordered to pay a fine of £100, victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution towards legal costs of £100.
Mr Hackett was charged with 2 offences of busking in Camden Town and was ordered to pay a fine of £100, victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution towards legal costs of £100.