Riverside benches moved ‘thanks’ to anti-social behaviour

River bank from prebend street bridge

Bedford Borough Council say they’ve been forced to move four benches on a bank of the River Great Ouse after complaints they had attracted criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

The four benches on the river’s north bank between Prebend Street bridge and Star Rowing Club were removed last month.

Officials say they were asked to remove the benches after complaints from Bedfordshire Police and local residents of criminal activity that centred around the benches.

This included drug-taking, drinking and anti-social behaviour such as excessive noise late into the night.

People using the river nearby that we spoke to said: “Once again it’s a small group of inconsiderate people who ruin it for everyone else.”

River bank near Star Rowing Club
There are now no benches along the river from Prebend Street to the Star Rowing Club

“After discussions with Ward Councillors, Bedfordshire Police and local residents in the area it was agreed to move the benches,” said a council spokesperson.

Two of them have been moved to the opposite bank and placed in St. Mary’s Gardens. The other two have been moved to The Embankment outside of the Swan Hotel

The Borough Council spokesperson added: “We have to respond to requests from the police where anti-social behaviour is concerned and residents are caused serious disturbance.

“However, the benches have been relocated nearby but away from residential areas; to allow people to still enjoy and sit by our beautiful riverside.”