Nottingham bans alcohol in parks after large crowds seen brawling and drinking

30 March 2021, 16:35 | Updated: 30 March 2021, 18:06

Police confiscating alcohol from people in the Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham
Police confiscating alcohol from people in the Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham. Picture: Cllr Rebecca Langton

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Nottingham has banned drinking alcohol in parks after shocking footage emerged of a large crowd of students brawling.

A dispersal order has been put in place after the crowd gathered in Nottingham Arboretum on Monday as lockdown restrictions were eased.

Footage posted on social media captured a brawl as dozens of people drank and ignored social distancing rules, leaving behind large amounts of litter.

READ MORE: Crowd of students defies rule of six in Nottingham park before ‘brawl’ breaks out

The leader of Nottingham City Council, David Mellen, confirmed alcohol will be seized from people entering parks from Tuesday, amid and increased police presence.

Another councillor, Rebecca Langton, posted on social media that drinking alcohol in parks is "not permitted", adding: "This is our city. Take responsibility for and pride in it."

Pictures taken on Tuesday afternoon show police officers seizing alcohol from people sitting in the sunshine, while council officers have been checking bags at park entrances.

She wrote: "I am angry and embarrassed by the scenes at the Arboretum yesterday. It is absolutely unacceptable to put our key workers at additional risk- from CPOs to cleansing teams left to clear the mess, not to mention the complete disregard for public safety or the law.

"The Council have been in touch with the Police and there will be increased presence in our parks. We will be seizing alcohol on entry into our parks today- please don’t bring it. It’s a shame that a minority of people spoil these nice days for the rest of us."

Cllr Mellen said a selfish minority had abused the easing of restrictions, adding: "We have all made sacrifices over the last year to keep each other safe.

"Over 600 local people have died due to the virus.

"We owe it to their families, to each other and to frontline workers not to jeopardise the strides we have made towards reducing the spread of Covid by acting so thoughtlessly and recklessly.

"The road map is a cautious way out of this terrible situation and we all need to abide strictly to its rules.”

Nottinghamshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper said: "The behaviour yesterday was unacceptable and we are disappointed people decided to behave in this selfish way.

"That is why we have now taken the decision to put a dispersal order in place.

"Our officers will continue to engage with people to ensure they are still sticking to the rules.

"It is up to us all to keep to the measures so we can continue on the road map out of lockdown, by keeping the virus at bay."