A local councillor has called for urgent action after shocking antisocial behaviour at Needham Lake over the bank holiday weekend.

Councillor Ross Piper, who represents Needham Market at Mid Suffolk District Council, said some visitors’ behaviour was “completely unacceptable”.

Police responded to a report of a large gathering on Sunday afternoon at around 5pm, with residents reporting antisocial behaviour, dangerous car parking, misuse of BBQs, people throwing rocks at animals, and public defecation.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Cllr Piper said: “Some of the behaviour is completely unacceptable and local residents are rightly angered.

“As well as removing the BBQs there needs to be a barrier in the car-park entrance and parking charges, which could fund wardens and contribute to maintenance of the area.”

There have long been problems at Needham Lake with antisocial behaviour, but residents have become increasingly concerned by the actions of some visitors.

East Anglian Daily Times:

The police responded to an incident on Sunday, monitoring a large gathering at the site.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Police did receive a report of a large gathering of people at about 5pm on Sunday afternoon and officers attended and monitored the situation. Attendees started to disperse around 6.30pm.

“It is very disappointing to hear of the behaviour of some people at the location. We continue to liaise with our partner agencies including the local council to ensure the site remains an attractive place to visit and look to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

But it was not just Sunday evening which raised concerns, with numerous incidents highlighted in recent weeks with the warmer weather.

East Anglian Daily Times:

A spokesperson for Mid Suffolk District Council, which manages Needham Lake, said: “Needham Lake is our district’s most popular attraction, with more than 380,000 visitors a year.  We continue to invest heavily in facilities to find balance between providing somewhere accessible that the whole community can enjoy, whilst protecting and enhancing local wildlife, and find it deplorable that the actions of a comparative few are threatening the enjoyment of this beautiful site for others.

 “Suffolk Police are aware of the issues last weekend and we will be working together to tackle any future criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour.  We employ people to deal with littering around the site, we have regular security patrols, and we have additional seasonal rangers on site through the summer – but crimes and anti-social behaviour need to be reported to the police, so appropriate measures can be taken and enforcement carried out.

 “If a crime is in progress, visitors should dial 999, or they should report anti-social behaviour by calling 101 or reporting it online Report antisocial behaviour | Suffolk Constabulary.

“In terms of the barbecue area, this was created – in addition to the café and toilet facilities – for families and small groups to enjoy, and to deter damage from barbecues being lit in less suitable parts of the site.  There are clear notices to explain what we expect from our visitors, but if misuse of the area continues, we will have no option but to consider its removal.”