Increased Police presence set for Arboretum following recent mass crowding

Nottinghamshire Police will have a larger presence at the Arboretum today (March 30) and will seize alcohol from people on entry, a local councillor has announced.

Large crowds flocked to the Arboretum yesterday to enjoy the sun on the first day of relaxed coronavirus restrictions.

The nation entered the second stage of ‘Step One’ on Monday, which means that groups of six – or more if from two households – can meet outdoors and in private gardens for the first time in weeks.

Footage on social media, however, showed large crowds meeting up in the Arboretum, a highly student-populated area of the city, leaving litter and even fighting between themselves.

Nottingham City Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Strategic Transport, tweeted that she was “angry and embarrassed” by the crowding seen yesterday.

She added: “It is absolutely unacceptable to put our key workers at additional risk – from CPOs (Community Protection Officers) to cleansing teams left to clear the mess, not to mention the complete disregard for public safety or the law.”

Images on Twitter showed a group of students fighting in the Arboretum (Credit: @Duhhh_Dummy / Twitter)

The latest set of data shows that Nottingham had a coronavirus infection rate of 74.5 per 100,000 people in the week ending March 21. This is higher than the national average.

At one stage, during October last year, Nottingham had the highest infection rate in the UK.

Inspector Paul Malloy told BBC Nottingham: “We would like to remind people that we are still only partly out of lockdown measures.

“We are aware of a number of residents choosing to be out in the Arboretum…and our officers are now engaging with people to ensure they are sticking to the rules.”

Nottingham Trent University has been approached for a comment.

By Matt Lee

Lead Image: Kieran Burt

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