Extra police patrols in Dewsbury town centre see drop in anti-social behaviour

Police are putting more patrols into Dewsbury town centre to help people feel safer.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 7:00 am
Coun Cathy Scott in Dewsbury town centre

Dewsbury East councillor Cathy Scott spoke out about how people, especially women, felt intimidated by “undesirables” hanging about on the streets swigging alcohol.

Coun Scott, recently elected as deputy leader of Kirklees Council, said she had met with police and more resources had been promised.

“Things are changing in Dewsbury and it’s a change for the better,” she said.

“When I spoke about people not feeling safe that was true but when you drill down and ask them in more detail about street drinking or whatever they say it’s what they’ve been told, not what they’ve experienced themselves.

“I’m not saying this isn’t happening but there is also a problem of perception.

“People have got to feel safe and if people see nuisance drinkers they have to call it in straightaway, not wait two or three days.”

Kirklees Council says that since July 2020 Dewsbury and Huddersfield town centres have benefitted from an additional police presence thanks to a council-funded “multi-agency enforcement team”.

The town centre teams have already had a significant impact in increasing reporting from residents and business owners and providing support for the most vulnerable.

Last month the Kirklees Rough Sleepers Initiative reported for the first time that no homeless person was sleeping on the streets of Dewsbury.

Since the team’s deployment last summer, officers have handed out 135 “directions to leave the town centres”.

The increased uniformed presence in town centres which the team has provided has increased public confidence and encouraged residents to get in touch, particularly with regards to anti-social behaviour offences, they say.

There were four successful fake tobacco operations across the two town centres and more than 100,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized.

Chief Inspector Alan Travis, of Kirklees Police, said: “These substantial reductions in anti-social behaviour in town centres are clearly very welcome, and show what can be achieved through sustained partnership working to tackle issues of concern.

“The number of ‘direction to leave’ orders issued by officers is very much in keeping with the proactive mandate they have been given to nip issues in the bud and tackle repeat problem offenders.”