Call for blitz on byelaw breaches

Security patrols could be introduced on the Downs to prevent the parkland from becoming “overwhelmed by lawlessness”. A private company would be hired to issue fines to anybody caught breaking rules such as parking on the grass or having a barbecue.

The Clifton Down and Durdham Down are subject to byelaws, which in theory ban people from a range of activities. However, these are rarely enforced, with some residents complaining about damage to the grass from fires or vehicles.

The Downs committee was urged to take action and clamp down on people flouting the byelaws, The committee is made up of councillors from Bristol City Council and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a business group.

Robert Westlake, chair of the Downs Advisory Panel, said: “Many byelaws are ignored daily.”

He called for out-of-hours security patrols, to enforce these rules. He also said there should be a “one-month blitz” to “stop the Downs being overwhelmed by lawlessness”.

But the problem is the council’s parks department has had its budget repeatedly cut over recent years, meaning there aren’t enough staff to enforce the byelaws, at the Downs or elsewhere.