A call for action is being made over ‘undesirables’ who are littering a town’s Peace Garden with bottles, beer cans and drug wrappers.
Nearby residents say that the gardens - at a riverside spot behind St Mary’s Church in Horsham - are regularly left a mess with debris strewn over the ground, in the river and among hedgerows.
Chris Lever, who lives in Chesworth Lane, said: “I’m appalled and disappointed with the state the gardens are in.”
And he called for the police and Horsham District Council to take action to combat ‘antisocial behaviour’ in the area.
Chris says he does not blame the council. “There are adequate litter bins within the gardens but it is quite obvious that people ignore them and throw their litter into the hedges, river or just leave it on the ground.
“A lot of the litter is alcohol cans and bottles and I know that people feel intimidated passing people who consume these, especially at night.”
Chris is so disgusted by the debris that he regularly goes out litter-picking in the gardens. But after one clear-up last week, Chris was dismayed to find more deposited within days.
He added: “A lot of people pass comment when I’m picking up the litter and it is obvious how appalled they are too that the peace gardens are being misused and not able to be used as they were intended.”
And, he said, the mess was a growing menace. “There has always been a litter problem in the gardens but it is a lot worse now and there are more undesirables drinking and taking drugs.”
A spokeswoman for Horsham District Council said the council “regularly empties the bins at the Memorial Peace Garden near St Mary’s Church in Horsham,” adding: “A Designated Public Place Order is already in place at this location in light of what appears to be antisocial drinking behaviours and associated littering.”
But she said the order was “not a ban on drinking alcohol in public.
“It is however an effective way of combating irresponsible drinking and officers will use their discretion, taking the drinker’s behaviour into consideration, before any action is taken.”