ABANDONED bedding must be swiftly removed from the city centre as it poses a risk to public safety, say Hereford BID.

Hereford BID, in partnership with Team Hereford, say they have recently sought clarity from Herefordshire Council over the ongoing and controversial issue of dumped bedding and clothing in the city and have asked the council for a policy on the time taken by Balfour Beatty Living Places to remove it.

The team say an issue arises with public safety when items have been abandoned and are left for several days, and that it is not unusual for drug-related items such as needles or human waste to be found within it.

They also said the abandoned items pose a potential terrorist threat.

Mike Truelove, manager at Hereford BID, said every sympathy and assistance was given to those sleeping rough in the city, but similarly care and respect should be given from owners of unwanted bedding and clothing which should be safely disposed of in the many available bins nearby or for needles at special drop off points that are well publicised.

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Mike said: "The people leaving these items behind are frequent inhabitants of the city centre who we know on a first name basis.

"We are asking for their help first and foremost, and as a last resort, that of the council's in disposing of the items quickly when no longer required.

"On many occasions items are left for up to a week in doorways or outside the HSBC and it is unfair on everyone enjoying the city, the police who have to ensure it is not a security threat, and businesses who employ local staff and depend on Hereford looking its best".

In the past negative social media has deterred agencies from taking away these items but Hereford BID and Team Hereford say the current situation means everyone loses as there is a risk aversion to removal.

"There needs to be a clear policy on this rather than the status quo which is helping no-one," Mike said.

For more information on Hereford BID or Team Hereford please email the BID team at info@herefordbid.co.uk