Shrewsbury Quarry patrols will continue, says council

Security patrols of the Quarry in Shrewsbury are set to continue as a result of persistent anti-social behaviour.

Enjoyed by thousands of families, Shrewsbury residents, and visitors every year the Quarry has recently seen a number of instances of anti-social behaviour
Enjoyed by thousands of families, Shrewsbury residents, and visitors every year the Quarry has recently seen a number of instances of anti-social behaviour

The town council drafted in security guards in March to try and address the problem, and the arrangement was due to come to an end this week.

But at a meeting of the council’s recreation and leisure committee on Wednesday evening, members heard a high volume of alcohol- and drug-related incidents and littering were still being recorded.

Operations manager Gary Farmer said: “The Quarry has been well-used but we have had a problem with littering, particularly alcohol litter.

“It’s been really beneficial that we have had a security firm in who have helped and have actually done monitoring and patrolling after hours.

“This does come at a cost though, and Helen [Ball, town clerk] is working with the Business Improvement District (BID) to try and recoup some of that money.”

Drug deals

A report to councillors by office manager Ruth Jones said the Quarry had seen “significant levels of anti-social behaviour” in the last few months, including youths congregating, underage drinking, drug dealing, and much higher levels of littering than normal.

The report said: “Litter collection is a major issue with staff resource being expended to purely litter pick before any maintenance can take place and litter collection for onward recycling and disposal is six times higher than normal.”

As a result, the security guards were brought in and have been patrolling the park until around 11pm each evening.

“They have regularly reported issues, liaised daily with the police and had cause to move on a significant number of people causing anti-social behaviour,” the report said.

“Their initial commission was until the end of May, but there is a need to extend this provision until the summer months.”

The report went on to detail some of the measures the town council is looking into to try and address the problem in the longer-term.

Other organisations in the Team Shrewsbury partnership, which includes the police, the BID and several charities, are also taking action.

The report said: “Of the actions for the town council to consider are hosting additional events to make the site more busy and in effect police itself, more formal use of the bandstand and possible busking locations to increase visitor numbers, use of the park for personal training, installation of outdoor gyms – similar to Telford Town Park.”

But it added that many of these suggestions could risk breaching current Covid regulations, and most anti-social behaviour is recorded in the evening when “organised use of the park would not normally take place”.

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