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Residents complain about groups of youngsters congregating at popular Gruffalo Walk in Culloden Wood, Inverness

By Louise Glen

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The Gruffalo Walk is popular with young fans of the picture book.
The Gruffalo Walk is popular with young fans of the picture book.

People living nearby say the area around Inverness's Gruffalo Walk has become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour.

Last month police received a report of drugs being found within a Kinder Egg toy casing and there have been frequent incidents of vandalism of sculptures inspired by the popular children's story, The Gruffalo.

The walk's Gruffalo carving was previously vandalised.
The walk's Gruffalo carving was previously vandalised.

Now there are concerns about young people failing to observe social distancing requirements as well.

One resident said: "I am nearing the end of my patience with the constant parties at the Gruffalo Walk in the evening.

"I feel like I am never off the phone reporting it to the police, and I feel like they are not listening to the concerns made by me or my neighbours.

"I have had to pay to put more security around my property because it was damaged."

The resident, who did not want to be named, continued: "There has been zero social distancing going on among the young people who are up there most nights a week.

"Some of them are as young as 13 or 14 and the older ones must be 30.

"I want to warn people not to let their children play in the bushes as they might be shocked with what their children find.

"I am certain that people use the area to stash drugs so they cannot be caught for having it on their person by the police, and I believe they leave it there overnight."

Local councillor Trish Robertson said: "Any matters relating to antisocial behaviour should be reported immediately to the police."

Inspector Graham Brown of Inverness police station, said: “We will continue to patrol in the Culloden area to provide reassurance to the public and would encourage people to report any instances of antisocial behaviour as they are happening to enable us to respond appropriately.

“The current Covid–19 regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.

“We are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”

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