Anger as groups on bikes gather in parks and ‘abuse passersby’

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Anger is growing at groups of young people on bikes gathering in parks in Liverpool, with reports of some people being abused.

Last week the ECHO photographed a large group of young men with bikes breaking clear social distancing rules in Otterspool.

And today the Friends of Sefton Park group has raised concerns about a similarly sized group blocking pathways in Sefton Park.

The Friends Group said they had a picture sent to them by a local resident who said they had been abused when asking the group to make room for people to get past.

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Posting on twitter, the Friends Group said: "Social distancing has been observed by most of our parks users however we have been getting reports of big groups of kids on bikes taking over paths.

"They’ve been intimidating sensible park users & obviously breaking social distancing rules."

Offering more details, the group said: "Other park users trying to get past were also having to walk way around them to avoid being too close.

"They were swearing very loudly to each other and at passers by if they were politely asked to make space for people to get past."

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She said it appeared as though one member of the group was calling others and urging them to join them for a meet up.

Responding, Merseyside Police tweeted: "It's important that everyone follows government guidelines to keep people safe. If this is happening now, please DM us and we will assess what to do next. If you see groups commiting anti-social behaviour, you can report this via our website."

The police and the council have both spoken out about the problems of groups gathering in parks, when the population is being told to observe strict social distancing rules.

Mayor Joe Anderson said scenes of lots of people gathering in Sefton Park were an 'insult' to the NHS workers who have died trying to keep people alive during the coronavirus crisis.

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“I’ve seen pictures which show some people are clearly not understanding the severity of the situation.

“Our message is simple If you go the park, keep moving. Walk, run and keep your distance. During the Covid crisis parks, unfortunately, are not a place for stopping and socialising."

Chief Constable Andy Cooke added: "I would urge people in Liverpool to listen to the Government advice and adhere to it. Only by pulling together on this can we hope to prevent the spread of Coronavirus."

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