Large party leaves litter in Birchenwood Park in Staffordshire | United Kingdom | New
Police were called to reports of anti-social behavior as some 600 revelers partied at Birchenwood Playgrounds in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, on Saturday. They left a huge mess and so football matches including youth matches were canceled on Sunday.
The event – which has not been sanctioned by any local authority or the football team renting the site – has now been referred to officials at Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire Police, with a view to identifying those responsible for the mess.
The rally was held to celebrate Jamaica’s Independence Day, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
Councilor Mike Stubbs, of the Labor and Co-operative Party, said: ‘Basically they spent the day playing football on the pitch, they had cooked some food in the back of the vans and made a good day – which in itself wouldn’t be a problem, apart from the fact that they left so much rubbish.
“Worse than that – unfortunately they left human waste all over the pitch, including on the pitches themselves, but mostly in the trees and bushes surrounding the area.
“The worst thing about it – apart from the human waste, which is disgusting – was the broken glass. I’m doing Parkrun on a Sunday morning, and there was still glass there when I got there so – I picked up a few handles of glass, but it needed a professional cleaning.”
Volunteers helped clean up some of the rubbish on Sunday morning and council staff did a full cleanup on Monday.
But the authority, controlled by the Conservative Party, believes the crowd should have treated the park with more respect.
“The parking lot is wide open all week, as the authorities are not locking the place down,” Councilor Stubbs said.
“The pavilion is secure but the car park is not, and there are multiple entry points. It needs to be properly secured so people don’t show up.”
Mark Porter, chairman of the Kidsgrove Ladsandads football team, had a simple message for those behind the mess: “Don’t come back, you’re not welcome.
“It was absolutely disgraceful. There were sheep’s heads, people had gone to the toilets in the middle of the pitches, there were beer bottles and barbecues – it was just a complete and utter mess.”
He asked for CCTV to be installed in the area and that football pitches might need to be fenced off.
He said: “It’s really hard to keep people away. Hopefully the police can recover it and investigate those involved. We have to foot the bill to get rid of all the trash. We had to sort this out.
“We have amazing volunteers who showed up on Sunday to clear all the pitches. Kidsgrove Ladsandads operates Birchenwood for the community, it’s a charity to make football easier for people in the area.”
Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis was appalled by the news and aims to hold discussions on what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
He said: “I’m so sorry for the amazing youngsters who missed out on their beloved football which is so important to the local community. I want to pass on my heartfelt condolences to Mark Porter and the Kidsgrove Ladsandads who are a fantastic organization and it’s so sad to see that they have had their fun robbed by a minority of blind morons.
“They destroyed a local green space, harmed our local community and disrespected the local community.
“I am in communication with Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire Police to find anyone responsible for this event and make sure they face the full force of the law – both with a fine and I hope works of general interest.”
Mr Gullis said CCTV cameras would be installed in Birchenwood and other anti-social behavior hotspots later this year.
Staffordshire Police confirmed officers were alerted to the event shortly after 11pm on Saturday. A spokesman added: said: ‘Officers have been advised that a large group of people have been arriving at the site for approximately 2pm.
“The local police team are currently carrying out investigations into the vehicles at the site. Officers will work with the local authority to prevent this activity from happening again.”
Newcastle City Council confirmed they were not told of the event in advance and their team offered to clean up once they were made aware of the mess.
The authority is now trying to make contact with the group involved to discuss what happened.