Police and council officials are to look at solutions amid concerns after dozens of people gathered at Richmond falls yesterday to drink and take legal highs.
Broken glass bottles, empty cans, used barbecues and nitrous oxide gas cannisters was among the rubbish left behind at the beauty spot.
Volunteers visited the area to tidy up after the gathering last night, while others returned this morning and collected more rubbish.
Videos posted online by people visiting the falls showed young people listening to loud dance music and failing to adhere to social distancing.
Photographs also showed visitors taking nitrous oxide, with dozens of empty gas cartridges left behind yesterday.
Partygoers enjoying the sun and ignoring advice to stay safe at Costa Del Richmond today
Posted by Yorkshire Connected on Monday, 25 May 2020
Nice to see everyone social distancing at a party in Richmond right now and the best part is this was taken by a student midwife xo pic.twitter.com/JIxbZ7MXDT
— Aislin Brown (@aislin_brown) May 25, 2020
Local residents have praised the volunteers who helped clear away the rubbish and have urged the police and local authorities to prevent similar incidents in coming weeks.
A Facebook group has been launched calls for officials to take action.
This was how the beautiful River Swale Falls, Richmond was left yesterday by it’s ‘visitors’!
Absolutely disgusting. This HAS to stop
— S/Sgt 2067 Slattery (@RichSpecials) May 26, 2020
Inspector Mark Gee, from Richmondshire neighbourhood policing team, confirmed that officers made two arrests at the falls area yesterday evening — a 30-year-old man from the Newcastle area and a 29-year-old man from Catterick Garrison.
A penalty notice was also issued for disorder.
He said: “We did increase our patrols over the weekend not in just Richmond but across Richmondshire due to the Bank Holiday weekend.
“We continue to engage, explain and encourage in line with the national police response.”
Insp Gee said he was keen to work with local authorities and the community safety partnership to address the problems at the falls in Richmond.
He added: “What does concern me is the use of the nitrous oxide by the young people and would appeal to parents to discuss the dangers of using this with their children.”
The officer stressed that it was not illegal to possess the gas, but it was illegal to supply it.
A Richmondshire District Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issues at Richmond Falls at the weekend and are reviewing the facts we have.
“We are looking into the problem with our partner organisations – including the police – and explore what we might be able to do.
“We expect to issue a further update tomorrow.” [kofi]