PATROLS have been promised at an antisocial behaviour-hit park – which has been subjected to a spate of criminal damage in recent weeks – throughout the summer holidays to allay residents’ concerns.
CCTV has also been installed at Mapplewell Park due to its high rates of reports and police – alongside council enforcement officers – have vowed to continue their crackdown.
Figures show a total of 30,297 incidents were reported in the town last year.
Barnsley’s North East ward – which includes Brierley, Cudworth, Grimethorpe and Shafton – saw around a third of those incidents, with a total of 10,077 reports, but was closely followed by Darton East, which includes Mapplewell.
Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “We know that antisocial behaviour can have a profound impact on people and their communities.
“We recognise that there are challenges, especially during the summer months, and this has affected several locations and public spaces including Mapplewell Park.
“We always try to prevent problems happening in the first place but when they do, our police and council teams will try and respond to stop escalation as part of the Joining Forces initiative.
“We encourage people to report any concerns and share any information they have which could help with developing better intelligence of the nature and impact of problems.
“As for Darton East and Mapplewell Park, the Joining Forces teams have proactively supported work in the area to try and tackle these problems.
“It’s encouraging that antisocial behaviour rates continue to fall in Barnsley, and we compare positively with our neighbouring areas.”
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings sympathised with residents and said Barnsley-based officers are prioritising antisocial behaviour.
“We have seen increased concerns around certain types of antisocial behaviour in recent years,” he added.
“As a minimum more patrolling by police will be done in hotspots, especially in the evenings – I also want to see the police telling communities and victims of antisocial behaviour what they are doing to reassure them.
“That is why one of the three priorities local is combating antisocial behaviour.
“Whenever I go to community meetings people invariably want to talk about it as much as, if not more than, crime.
“But antisocial behaviour is not a low-level crime, it devastates communities and has a profound impact on victims.
“I encourage people to report incidents to the antisocial behaviour team at the council, or to the police, if they feel they are in immediate danger.”
Coun Steve Hunt, who represents the Darton East ward, said the recent damage at Mapplewell Park was alarming.
He said: “It is sad to see a small minority continue to try and spoil things in Mapplewell which is a wonderful village with a strong sense of community.
“I have asked South Yorkshire Police and the council’s Safer Neighbourhood Team to step up patrols in and around the park.
“If anyone has any information regarding this incident please report to South Yorkshire Police on 101.”