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More Public Toilets a Necessity in Downtown Reykjavík

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More Public Toilets a Necessity in Downtown Reykjavík

Hallargarður park

Photo: Helgi Halldórsson

A resident of downtown Reykjavík, Þorsteinn Björnsson, took to Facebook yesterday to share his experience of coming across two tourists using Hallargarður park as a public toilet. They had parked their camper vehicle close by and intended to overnight there, Vísir reports. Police confirm that there has been a substantial increase in the presence of such vehicles in the city centre.

“I was on my way home around two in the morning on Saturday night and decided to walk through Hallargarður Park (located right by “The Pond” in central Reykjavík). There I encounter two tourists, a middle-aged couple, doing their business right in the middle of this respectable park. I was going to call the police but didn’t have my phone on me,” Þorsteinn writes. The man was in the middle of things behind a bush, just as Þorsteinn approached.

“I got a little angry because this sort of thing has been a topic of discussion lately. Especially because they were driving around in a so-called camper vehicle which they had parked on the corner of Skothúsvegur and Fjólugata and intended to overnight there,” he continued. Himself a resident of downtown Reykjavík, not far from Hallargarður park, Þorsteinn knows that people using public spaces as lavatories is becoming more and more of a problem. “When I lectured them about it, they were a little frightened and apologised by saying that there are no toilets around, forcing them to use the park as a toilet.”

Þorsteinn believes something has to be done about the matter, both with regards to increased public toilet access and the ever-growing presence of toilet-less camper vehicles as a lodging option parked around the city.

Sigurbjörn Jónsson, the main officer on duty at the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police, told Vísir that even though he was not aware of this particular incident, police are aware of the issue more generally. Legally speaking, such vehicles ought to be parked at camping sites and police do investigate reports of them outside of those areas. Asked whether police intend on combatting the issue of uncleanliness of this sort, Sigurbjörn said, “we don’t specifically monitor where people do their business.”

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