Teen arrested and ‘Mi Amigo’ memorial vandalised as crowds cause chaos at Endcliffe Park
Police in Sheffield have revealed the flags on the Mi Amigo memorial in Endcliffe Park were torn down yesterday as revellers thronged the area on the hottest day of the year so far.
Thousands of people descended on the park yesterday to celebrate both the warm weather and the recent lifting of strict coronavirus restrictions after months of complete lockdown.
However, pictures and videos shared on social media today show mounds of rubbish strewn across the park which local residents and council staff have spent most of the day cleaning up.
And now, police have revealed that as well as littering, some of those present also severely damaged the Mi Amigo memorial to 10 American airmen who died when their plane came down in the park in 1944.
Sheffield’s most senior police officer, Superintendent Simon Verrall said volunteers had been left ‘deeply distressed’ by the damage and that a repeat of the behaviour would ‘not be tolerated’.
He said: "Yesterday we saw a large number of people visit Endcliffe Park in Sheffield to enjoy the hot weather. Unfortunately, not all visitors acted responsibly or with other people in mind.
"Throughout the afternoon and evening, officers were required to respond to a number of reports of anti-social behaviour and damage being caused to the park. A 17-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of affray, following a fight between a group of people.
"Our colleagues at the fire service were also required to attend, after reports of several small fires being started within the park boundaries. Sadly, one of the park’s memorials was also damaged during the evening, which has left volunteers deeply distressed.
"This activity is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in our open spaces, which have been a haven for so many people during the pandemic.
"We are currently reviewing CCTV and mobile phone footage to identify those involved with a view to taking further action.”
Superintendent Verrall also said there would be an increased police presence in the park today and that a plan was in place for the Easter weekend.
And he also urged anyone visiting green spaces in the city to think of others and take away any rubbish with them when they leave.
"Patrols will be in place throughout today and this evening and a robust operational plan is in place to ensure that we do not see a repeat of these emerging issues as we head towards the long bank holiday weekend.
"The car park at the park has also been closed.
"We have been working hard with our partners over recent months to ensure that we can respond effectively to issues caused by people gathering in open spaces and this work continues.
"One of the most upsetting things for local people has been the huge amount of litter left in the park. This behaviour is extremely disappointing and it’s not acceptable in a space which is there for everyone to enjoy. Please be responsible, take your litter home with you and be considerate of others."