It has in recent years been a trouble-spot for youth disorder during the Summer months.

Glasgow City Council has previously adopted a strategy of bag searches in a bid to prevent alcohol-fuelled trouble in one of the city's most popular parks.

However, council officials and police have been criticised for adopting a "unnecessarily" heavy-handed approach as the country enjoyed the first warm spell of the year.

The city's authorities have been accused of "demonising" young people after children in their early teens were refused entry to Kelvingrove Park on Saturday, when temperatures soared to 23 degrees.

A group of around 12 young girls, all aged 14, who had not been drinking and had no alcohol with them according to their parents, were refused entry at around 4pm at the gate on Kelvin Way.

The children are said to have asked police why they were in trouble and were told that "the council doesn't want big groups in the park." No bag searches were carried out.

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They were told by the officer to come back in small groups "but not today."

The mother of one of the girls, who lives in the West End, said: "It can't be right that kids can be stopped from going into a public park on a sunny afternoon.

"This is surely demonising young teenagers who need to be able to feel confident enough to enjoy their city."

Conservation group, Friends of Kelvingrove Park, said it would be raising the issue with police.

Ruth Gillett, of the group, said: "While we would support attempts to limit the sort of drink-fuelled behaviour that was going on in the park regularly during Covid, this sort of targeting of young people just because they are young and in a group should not be happening.

"It's important the police don't get heavy handed on this issue, alienating and penalising perfectly reasonable young people for the behaviour of a view."

She said the council had got it "drastically wrong" when ten of the 16 gates in the park were locked a policy that was later abandoned.

Hillhead councillor Martha Wardrop said she was concerned to hear of the "unnecessary" action.

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She said: "Further discussions are needed between young people’s representatives and police officers to ensure that young people are not excluded from this park.”

Paul Sweeney Labour MSP for Glasgow, added: “It is concerning that some young people seem to have been prevented from accessing a public park due to an unfounded and preconceived belief that they were there to cause trouble.

“Glasgow’s parks are for everyone but they are already grossly under-utilised due to a lack of ambition.

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"We should be encouraging their use through family-friendly beer gardens, publicly funded events that utilise our bandstands and winter gardens, as well as completely revamping basic amenities like public toilets and lighting.

"The name Dear Green Place means absolutely nothing if we are going to allow the very parks that led to that name to fall into total disrepair or be utilised by a select few.

"That is nimbyism at its finest."

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 introduced new rights of public access to land including the entitlement to be on land for recreational, educational and non-commercial purposes.

A council spokesman said: "We cannot comment on the specific alleged incident but we will raise this with our colleagues in the police."

Last year Glasgow's chief inspector, Natalie Carr, said police would be adopting a 'zero tolerance' to anti-social behaviour in the park during the Summer months.

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She appealed to parents and guardians to 'make sure they know their children's whereabouts and ensure their safety.'

The Scottish Police Federation reported in 2019 that officers had been injured after responding to call-outs in the park.

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Gangs of teenagers allegedly armed with knives and axes were said to be travelling from outside the city, leading to large-scale fights.

Paul Connelly, chair of the west area committee with the Scottish Police Federation, said the youths are travelling from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and further afield.

Police and council officials have adopted a more cautious approach since 2011 when a unofficial Royal Wedding street party ended in violence.

Thousands of people descended on Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park for the event which was organised on Facebook.

The evening ended with 22 people being arrested and 11 police officers injured as violent scenes broke out after music was turned off.

Images of a police officer with blood streaming from his head were branded "totally unacceptable" by former Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House.

Despite some isolated incidents of trouble, there have been calls to re-think the ban on alcohol consumption in parks with some describing it as "anti working-class".

A fresh, online petition launched in March received the backing of hundreds.

Glasgow introduced the by-law in 1996 - which carries a fine of up to £500 - broadly to give police another tool for managing anti-social behaviour.

To date, 27 local authorities across Scotland have by-laws which prohibit the drinking of alcohol in designated public places in more than 480 towns and villages across Scotland.

The Glasgow by-law is reviewed every 10 years by the council, with councillors last voting to keep it in place with the backing of Police Scotland back in 2019.

Police Scotland declined to comment.