A HUGE community clean-up campaign has hit Welland Crescent in Elsecar today (Monday, October 24) with some locals being issued warnings to come up to scratch.

South Yorkshire Police, the Fire Service, officers from the council's enviromental regulatory services and dog wardens moved onto the street at 11am as part of the two-day crackdown. There are also officers giving advice on benefit entitlements in a bid to crack down on fraudulent benefit claims.

People who have rubbish in their gardens are being asked to tidy it up and sent warning letters and 12 youngsters volunteered to help fill rubbish bags to clear the street this morning.

Free dog neutering and chipping is being offered, and the fire service is speaking to a select group of youths in a bid to reduce levels of arson. AddAction are also on the street, giving one to one advice to alcoholics and drug addicts.

PC Paul Davies, one of the officers who has organised the event, said: "I'm not going to lie, there is a drug problem on that street but it is not as bad as it  was and the point is that we can steer these people in the right direction to try to get them some help.

"It's so easy for people to go 'it's a run down area' but a lot of work has gone on down there and it is improving. You can't just forget about it and leave it because there are decent people that live there as well and we need to help those. They shouldn't have to live with bags of rubbish and waste piled on the street."

The police started doing targeted operations on Welland Crescent three years ago, and removed 120 tonnes of rubbish, filling 13 large skips and 30 flat bed trucks.

He added: "We have to bring the standard up on the street, there are problems on there but there are a lot of good people here as well and even some of the bad people appreciate what's being done for them."

Tomorrow, the cancer unit will be visiting the street giving advice to locals on how to stop smoking and the community clean up will continue.