How the public will decide the fate of Covent Garden's street performers: ... trends now
Members of the public will decide the future of busking in Covent Garden after Westminster City Council reviewed its current licensing scheme.
The council's licensing committee met on Monday night and will release information on the public consultation at a later stage.
Buskers have been performing in Covent Garden since the 1660s, when they were first recorded in Samuel Pepys' diary.
However, that tradition is under threat amid complaints of anti-social behavior and crime blighting the area, with 64 per cent of pick pocketing cases abandoned within days.
Westminster City Council is asking the public for their views on the future of busking in areas such as Covent Garden, pictured
Officials said they have received complaints about excessive noise and congestion as a result of performances
Westminster City Council said they receive more than 1,800 complaints a year about buskers in Covent Garden and Leicester Square - many of which for excessive noise.
Also, the large crowds who gather to watch performances also attract criminals, with pickpocketing rife in the area.
In October 2023 alone, there were 564 reports of 'theft from the person' in the Covent Garden area. Of those reports, 343 have been closed without a suspect being identified.