“What has got into these people?': Hundreds gather once again a Harborough park, causing lots of noise and leaving litter behind
One councillor said they run the risk of “exploding a deadly Covid-19 timebomb”
Up to 300 people who caused a massive disturbance as they gathered in a Market Harborough park last night (Wednesday) have been slammed by a leading Harborough councillor.
Cllr Phil Knowles said hundreds of revellers who packed into Little Bowden Recreation Ground on Northampton Road for the third night running risked “exploding a deadly Covid-19 timebomb”.
He hit out today as angry local residents accused the huge crowds of heavy drinking, taking drugs, causing an ear-splitting racket and leaving a sea of rubbish behind them.
Police were kept at full stretch as they worked flat out last night to patrol Little Bowden park as well as other busy parks throughout the district.
“I am so furious today,” Cllr Knowles told the Harborough Mail.
“This behaviour is so wrong on so many levels.
“What has got into these people?
“I was sitting there last night getting texts from residents near Little Bowden rec so outraged and so upset at the astonishing scenes playing out in front of them.
“I am told that up to 300 youths and older people got together at Little Bowden park alone last night.
“300 people – when we are still fighting the coronavirus for goodness sake.
“That’s a vast number of people all happily smashing the Covid rules without a care in the world.
“None of them were wearing masks or keeping their social distance.
“How can they think this is right?
“They are setting up another Covid-19 timebomb all set to explode,” thundered Cllr Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrat group on Harborough council.
“Over 126,000 people have already been killed by this horrific virus in the UK alone.
“All of their families have been devastated, many more are still suffering, our NHS heroes have lost so many doctors, nurses and other staff fighting this horrible disease.
“Our economy has been battered – and we are facing a tsunami of devastating mental health issues.
“Our vaccination rollout has been brilliant.
“The figures on Covid cases and deaths in the UK are all heading the right way.
“But we are not out of the woods yet by a long chalk,” warned Cllr Knowles.
“The last thing we want to do is to spark off a new wave of infections in Harborough and go straight back to square one.
“Can you imagine more people dying, more people struck down – and all of us going back into lockdown?
“It would be catastrophic,” insisted the veteran Harborough councillor.
“I am appealing to everyone to do their bit now to stop this happening – this is serious.
“Apart from the coronavirus risk, it’s simply not right that these party-goers are having such a massive negative impact on people living near Little Bowden rec as well as other local parks.
“Why should people have to endure loud music and loads of noise all night and into the early hours?
“There’s been far too much alcohol involved, under-age drinking, almost certainly drugs.
“And it’s terrible to see how much rubbish has been just dumped – with broken bottles and shattered glass posing a serious risk to dog walkers and their pets.
“This sort of anti-social behaviour cannot be tolerated.
“The entire community has to unite to put an end to this.
“I’d ask parents and carers – what are your kids up to, where are they going?
“We all have a responsibility to stick to the Covid rules and to look after our own communities and our own people across Harborough.
“And if these enormous crowds continue to get together in our parks night after night then we are asking for big trouble.
“And that’s too terrifying to think about.”
Harborough police said last night they were being forced to take home a drunk child from a park.
“As predicted we are busy between parks and busy with normal demand.
“We are having to take another child home who is drunk from a park. “We have dedicated officers who are going from park to park to try and keep everything under control,” said police.
“We cannot sort this alone, we need your help.”
And deeply-frustrated officers added later: “Further to the last tweet, it is deeply saddening to see that certain individuals have come to the conclusion that the virus (Covid) has disappeared into thin air.
“It is spoiling it for those who have stuck to the rules and kept themselves and others safe.”