OFFICERS at Newcastle-under-Lyme’s neighbourhood policing team are stepping up patrols in the area as they look to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.
The increased police presence comes on the back of reports of people flouting lockdown guidelines, criminal damage and drinking alcohol in public.
The rise in local patrols is in addition to the extra resources being made available to local officers – with a section 34 dispersal order now in place. This means anyone involved in anti-social behaviour can be asked to leave town for 48 hours – with the first of these notices issued earlier today.
Earlier today (Thursday, May 14) a 24-year-old was cautioned following damage made to a shop on High Street overnight. He must pay for repairs and has been banned from the town centre.
The work is in collaboration with the Borough Council – who are in the process of installing an upgraded CCTV system across certain areas of Newcastle – including the Grosvenor Roundabout.
Chief Inspector for Newcastle Phil Duffy said: “We have invested heavily with Newcastle Borough Council and our partners to ensure that Newcastle-under-Lyme is a safe place to live and visit and I am confident that it is.
“In addition, we work closely with outreach groups to ensure that those individuals experiencing hardship are supported and directed towards services to help with their individual needs.
“I am aware of isolated incidents of anti-social Behaviour and a comprehensive patrol strategy is in existence to address the very small minority of individuals who cause us problems.
“We’ve already had positive reaction from people living and walking nearby as to how my officers and PCSO’s make them feel more confident in using the town centre.
“As ever - we’ll continue to work closely with the council to ensure the town is safe.”
Cabinet member for community safety and wellbeing, Cllr Helena Maxfield, said: “Working together we’ve tried various methods of tackling this anti-social behaviour in the town centre. We have tried to provide support for the individuals concerned, particularly during the lockdown, but that has been met with a limited response.
“Our hope is that the extra patrols by the neighbourhood policing team and the dispersal orders will prevent these individuals congregating in the town centre and causing anti-social behaviour or criminal damage.
“What we are all working towards is a safe town centre for all. ”
Anyone with any information on anti-social behaviour related activities in the town is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 999, 101 or via our social media pages.