24th July 2020

In_pictures Ian Rankin: City park being ‘treated like a night club’

In_pictures Ian Rankin: City park being ‘treated like a night club’

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in_pictures Crowds on Edinburgh MeadowsImage copyright
Ian Rankin

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Ian Rankin said people were meeting outside rather than going to clubs or music venues

Young people are treating parts of Edinburgh like a nightclub and leaving the council to clear up the mess, author Ian Rankin has said.

Mr Rankin tweeted pictures of rubbish on the Edinburgh Meadows after large groups of people gathered there.

“It’s that sort of culture where you leave stuff lying around and get on with enjoying yourself,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.

The writer said the council should consider a temporary alcohol ban.

City councils across Scotland have reported issues with littering and overflowing bins, with people beginning to gather in larger groups as lockdown restrictions ease.

However, the crowds seen in some areas are often in defiance of current rules, which state that only two households can meet outdoors in groups of up to eight.

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park has reportedly seen youngsters flouting restrictions to perform a conga and a number of arrests for public drinking.

The Rebus author dubbed the crowds at Edinburgh Meadows, near his home, “Pee in the Park” on Wednesday after he noticed people urinating in public.

Public toilets in the city remain closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown measures.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime with John Beattie that people were congregating outdoors because they were not allowed to meet indoors and appeared to be dropping rubbish despite standing close to large bins.

“What is it? I don’t know. Is there a generation that’s just got used to people cleaning up after them?” he asked.

“Or have they been locked down for so long, they’re just focused on themselves and entertaining themselves and they’ve got no thought for tomorrow, or no thought for what happens to this rubbish?”

He said that council workers arrived early on Thursday morning to clear up the mess at the park, which is south of Edinburgh city centre.

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Ian Rankin

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Piles of rubbish were left next to bins in the park

“I think what we’re getting at the moment is large groups of young people who otherwise would be in clubs and music venues,” he said.

“And if you’ve ever been a music venue or a club you’ll know that when you leave at the end of the evening, the floor is covered in plastic glasses.

“Folk just drop the glasses where they’re standing and somebody else cleans it up. When they go back to the club the following night, it’s all been cleaned again.

“Maybe some of that mentality is carried over in the sense that they think they’re in a club.”

Mr Rankin took photographs of the park before and after the litter had been cleaned up by City of Edinburgh Council workers.

He told BBC Scotland he feared there could be a more serious incident with people drinking heavily and no stewardship or supervision that would be expected in a high club.

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Ian Rankin

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Ian Rankin said the entire park was covered in rubbish the following morning

The author called on the council to put out more bins in the evening and introduce a “short-term ban” on drinking alcohol in public.

“They could stop the local supermarkets from selling portable barbecues and booze after 18:00. They could put in more bins. They could put in Portaloos,” he added.

“All these measures would help.”

A spokesman for the council said: “People need to take their rubbish with them. This isn’t an issue about bins being emptied frequently enough.

“This is an issue about people not taking responsibility for themselves, their own actions and what they’re bringing out.”

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