Banbury councillor urges residents to stay safe in park drugs action

Cllr. Tony Ilott in Hillview Park, Banbury. NNL-180220-134353009
Cllr. Tony Ilott in Hillview Park, Banbury. NNL-180220-134353009

A Banbury councillor has asked residents to stay safe after a group of concerned citizens vowed to stop drug dealing in their local park.

Residents around Hillview Park fear for the safety of their children as their recreation space is used as a meeting place for buying and selling of drugs.

Householder Nigel Bardsley received huge support for his social media announcement warning drug dealers that observers would be taking CCTV footage and photos of car number plates of suspected drug dealers.

He claimed police have made two arrests already.

Cllr Tony Ilott, whose ward includes the park, said: “I am as horrified as anyone to hear this is going on in a place where children play but I fear it is widespread and I fear if we get rid of drug dealing here it will migrate to another part of Banbury.

“It is an uphill struggle to stop it. I will do my very best to help and will be talking to the anti-social behaviour team at Cherwell as well as the police.”

Mr Ilott said he was concerned innocent people might get caught up in any action.

“I hope they will work hand in hand with the police and not overstep the mark,” he said.

“The last thing we want is for someone to get stabbed if anyone actually intervened.

“It’s fine for them to observe and take notes but I’d draw the line at going up to them.”