28th Sep, 2020

Camping, gatherings and discarded nitrous oxide canisters as Lickey Hills is 'left in a state'

THE PICTURESQUE Beacon Hill was left full of litter and discarded silver nitrous oxide canisters by youths who camped there over the weekend.

Their actions have been lambasted by Rubery Councillor Peter McDonald who said he and residents living by the Lickey Hills were appalled, shocked and saddened both by the massive mess left behind and the blatant evidence of drug-taking.

A dog walker found tents by the Castle on the Beacon first thing on Sunday morning, along with the high levels of litter and reported it to the councillor.

Coun McDonald said: “Once again the beauty of the Lickey Hills is being spoiled by gangs of youths who are now regularly camping out on the Beacon.

“I have asked the police to take whatever action is needed to reprehend these gangs, restore the beauty of the area and make it safe for families to have picnics and people to take their daily walks.

“Action needs to be taken now before large crowds of young people start to use the area as a place for raves.”

PCSO Stuart Taylor from Hagley and Rubery Safer Neighbourhood Team said police received reports of six or seven cars gathering where youths were drinking and taking nitrous oxide but as soon as officers attended there was no-one there.

The previous weekend there was a mass social gathering attended by hundreds of people.

PCSO Taylor said response teams had been informed and patrols would be stepped up this weekend.

The police are also liaising with the Lickey Hills Rangers over the issues.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council which is responsible for the site said: “The Lickey Hills site has a ranger base and there are regular patrols and the removal of rubbish by staff at the 500+ acre site, which are not small tasks.

“Ultimately, any anti-social behaviour at any of our sites is unacceptable and there is a personal responsibility on each and every visitor to use the parks and open spaces of Birmingham with respect and in line with current social distancing guidelines.

“We work closely with partners such as the police to ensure we have plans and strategies in place to deal with anti-social behaviour as far as possible.”

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