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News


Town centre police presence to increase

Tuesday August 13 2019




MORE visibility from police and council enforcement teams has been promised for Barnsley town centre under a new partnership which was launched last week.

The scheme - dubbed Joining Forces - will bring together at least 40 staff, working from the same base in the newly-emerging Glass Works retail centre and is designed to help secure the £180m investment the council is making in regenerating the town centre by ensuring it is welcoming to visitors.

It will mean police officers, PCSOs, council enforcement staff and new wardens will all work towards the same goals of ensuring visitors and potential visitors are not put off by the perception of crime and antisocial behaviour in the area.

While some problems exist - such as begging and spice abuse - Barnsley is regarded as one of the safest town centres in South Yorkshire and the objective is to ensure visitors recognise the environment is safe.

The scheme will also see rookie police officers training on the streets around the town centre, something made possible by the current expansion of force.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “We are making sure that communications, safety and enforcement are joined together to ensure that things are dealt with swiftly.

Through this we hope to see a rise in the level of police within Barnsley, more street wardens and more visibility.

“We keep hearing that things happen which people don’t want to see and we have a responsibility to make sure that is not the case.

“The future of the town depends on people feeling happy and safe where they do their shopping and leisure activities.

“This would not have been possible without the co-operation of South Yorkshire Police and officers of the council working together to reflect public concern and to do something about it.”

The scheme will also see rookie police officers training on the streets around the town centre, something made possible by the current expansion of force.

A public space protection order (PSPO) is in place in the town centre zone - which effectively bans begging, antisocial behaviour culprits and spice abusers from entering - and it’s cited as something that’s been responsible for a 21 per cent reduction in antisocial behaviour in recent years.

To report instances of antisocial behaviour or crime, please call 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report incidents to our Safer Neighbourhood Service by emailing safer@barnsley.gov.uk.