A SALTAIRE park is becoming a public toilet and a beacon for anti-social behaviour say frustrated volunteers with visitors urged to behave more responsibly.

Visitors have flocked to Roberts Park in the village during the last few days, as temperatures have risen during the heatwave.

But committee members of the Friends of Roberts Park Group and members of Saltaire Cricket Club have hit out as some visitors have used the site's bushes as a public toilet if they are caught short.

Pairs of underwear, used baby wipes and nitrous oxide canisters have also been left strewn around the park.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The back of the Roberts Park cricket pavilion which has been used as an impromptu public toilet by some unruly visitors The back of the Roberts Park cricket pavilion which has been used as an impromptu public toilet by some unruly visitors

The park only has one public toilet, located near the Half Moon Cafe, but this remains shut due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The Friends of group also urged visitors not to play hide and seek in the shrubberies at the park.

The issues have been reported to both Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police, who say they are reviewing incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Well-behaved visitors enjoying Roberts ParkWell-behaved visitors enjoying Roberts Park

Lesley Brook, Friends of Roberts Park chair, says its members welcome visitors to the site but wants them to take individual responsibility.

She said: "We just want people to be aware.

"We are not responsible for the toilets, I'm afraid. It's individual responsibility. People need to take responsibility for their actions on this occasion.

"It's a hygiene issue. It's annoying and disappointing that people have been doing this.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The bushes at Roberts Park have been used as a public toilet, say volunteers The bushes at Roberts Park have been used as a public toilet, say volunteers

"If people are going to do it, why don't they pick it up and take it home with them like they would do for a dog.

We take great pride in the park. We want people to use it. It seems like the park has been used as a public toilet

"We want people to feel like Roberts Park is a nice place to be. It's a beautiful park.

"If I was going away somewhere for a day, I would want to make sure I knew if there were toilet facilities nearby.

"We have a gardener for the park who is in the shrubberies. Does he want to be in there with that sort of thing. He is not paid to clean toilets and he is not paid to clean up people's excrement."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nitrous oxide canisters left at Roberts ParkNitrous oxide canisters left at Roberts Park

Saltaire Cricket Club, also located at the park, has also become a beacon for such anti-social behaviour, with people using the back of the pavilion as an impromptu toilet.

Hundreds of bin bags of rubbish have also been cleared from the park, left behind by visitors, and the club says the problems started just after lockdown was imposed in March.

A club spokesman said: "We are aware of the situation. It has been an ongoing problem since the end of March.

"There are gangs of youths excessively drinking here."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pants and wet wipes left in bushes at Roberts ParkPants and wet wipes left in bushes at Roberts Park

Inspector Craig Stothers for Shipley NPT, said: “Roberts Park has seen an increase in public use due to the lockdown restrictions.

"We have increased our patrols in the area and are working closely with partner agencies, including the local authority and the cricket club to the issues that have been reported to us.

“There have been some incidents of anti-social behaviour, littering and criminal damage, but the majority of users of the space behave lawfully.

"There is a small number of users who have behaved in an unacceptable manner.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Public toilet at Roberts Park remains closed Public toilet at Roberts Park remains closed

“Our neighbourhood teams will continue to focus on engaging, explaining and encouraging the public to abide by the local coronavirus lockdown regulations in Bradford and will use enforcement where necessary.

“The matters of anti-social behaviour that have been reported to us are being reviewed by the NPT team and where offences have been committed, all suspects will be dealt with robustly.

“Anyone who has any information about incidents in this area is asked to contact to the police to assist with our enquiries, via 101 or the LiveChat facility on the West Yorkshire Police website.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Underpants left behind at Roberts ParkUnderpants left behind at Roberts Park

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The current Covid-19 pandemic means that more people are using the district’s fantastic parks, especially during warmer weather.

"It’s great that people are able to enjoy the parks, but we urge all that are doing so to show respect for each other with behaviour that follows both common decency and the Government’s Covid-19 guidance on meeting up and social distancing.

“Unfortunately, due to funding cuts from the Government in 2018, we had to make the difficult decision to close a number of public toilets, including those in Saltaire rather than make cuts to statutory services.

“There is a toilet in the Half Moon Café, but the cafe is currently only operating as a take away, so as with many similar facilities the toilet is currently closed due to concerns about Covid-19 transmission in the shared, confined space.”