Richmondshire District Coucil has agreed to support the use of a multi-agency task force approach wherever problems of anti-social behaviour arise in the district.
A meeting of the council’s corporate board also saw members vote to draw up a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle any future repeat of the crowds of revellers who descended on Richmond Falls and The Batts in May.
The authority’s community safety lead, Councillor Helen Grant said: “My greatest fear is that come the August bank holiday it will be scorching hot and will be a place that people remember for all the wrong reasons.
“Young people with slabs underneath their armpits will go there and create the same situation all over again and families who want to enjoy the falls – it is a rite of passage for all children in this area – won’t feel safe to do so.”
The meeting heard how Richmond Falls had become one of the most searched terms on Google ahead of one of the parties, and councillors had collected 120 bags of litter and drug paraphernalia on one day alone.
Richmond councillor Stuart Parsons said quite a few of the revellers had travelled from Teesside and “didn’t give a monkey’s armpit about what was happening here”.
He said: “The residents of Richmond are absolutely terrified of the next couple of good days.”
The meeting heard other areas of the district, such as Aysgarth, Hawes and Reeth, had also seen issues with crowds, while 200 cars had descended on Keld, which has a population of less than 50.
Members agreed that residents across the 1,319sq km district should be reassured that whenever and wherever there was intelligence about crowds of revellers, the council would respond.
A number of members said North Yorkshire Police needed to direct more resources to the area.
Councillor Kevin Foster said he believed the parties at the falls were one-off incidents and that launching a PSPO would be a costly over-reaction and make little significant difference to the issue.
The meeting heard the PSPO would not be “a magic bullet”, that the main point of it would be to make a clear statement about antisocial behaviour, and that there would be a limited amount of resources to back fixed penalty notices up.
The authority’s director, Colin Dales said: “Please don’t anyone expect three dozen police officers to charge onto the falls and issue fixed penalty notices left right and centre.”