Communities benefit from increase in ASB hotspot patrols

An increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) patrols across the region have started to show success as local residents comment on a reduction of incidents in their local areas.

Partners from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Police joined together on Tuesday (24 October) to hear how local communities across the region are already experiencing the benefit from an increase in officer patrols.

Since the launch of the patrols in July, officers have made a total of 21 arrests, completing 45 stop and searches, and seizing a total of four knives, one knuckle duster and 1 nunchuck. Officers on patrols also focus on vehicles, having seized a total of five vehicles for showing no insurance and other reasons as well as three off-road bikes.

Chief Inspector John Mallows, force ASB lead, said: “It is really positive to hear how well received our increased patrols have been in local communities.

“Our officers have received some excellent feedback whilst out and about, including how patrols have disrupted youths outside local shops and how residents have seen a stop to drug dealing in their local area.

“Tackling ASB is a priority for the force, and we are dedicated to working towards ways on how we can support victims and the wider community further.

“We have already stated to see what an impact the patrols are having across the different districts and looking forward to seeing this impact increase further. If you see us around in your area, please do stop and talk to us if you have any concerns or questions, we are here to help.”

Whilst on patrols, officer have delt with just over 300 incidents including reports of nuisance youths and off-road bikes, street drinking, small fire and attending general incident reporting.

Earlier this year, South Yorkshire Police outlined its approach to the £2.4 million anti-social behaviour hotspot funding, which was awarded as part of the Home Office initiative to reduce and tackle ASB. A total of 48 hotspot areas, 12 in each district, were identified to see increased high visibility patrols across the force area.

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “I am determined to take anti-social behaviour seriously. It can blight the lives of individuals and communities alike. It is often the relentless nature of it and the seeming inability to be able do anything about it that really gets people down.

“In the short time that these patrols have been taking place we are already seeing successes and our communities are noticing the difference that these teams are making. They are helping people feel safe and be safe in their local neighbourhoods.

“Members of the public always tell me they want to see increased visibility of police officers in their communities and these extra patrols are providing just that in the areas that most need them.

“We welcome additional support from local council officers and wardens. This week we met with Sheffield City Council and some of their staff who will be carrying out ASB patrols. Council officers in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham are also doing additional patrols and I look forward to visiting them in the coming weeks.”

This week marks six months since the Home Office launched the ASB Action Plan, a dedicated approach which works with local agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour across England and Wales.

The increased ASB patrols haven been funded by the Home Office for the next two years, with South Yorkshire being one of 10 pilot areas to receive the funding in the national bid.

Cllr Richard Williams, Chair of the Communities Parks and Leisure Committee and the Safer Sheffield Partnership Board said: “Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour is a priority for our communities and for the Safer Sheffield Partnership. Additional funding for hotspot patrols is therefore very welcome and we are committed to supporting South Yorkshire Police with this work moving forwards.”