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Targeted operation to tackle anti-social behaviour – Welwyn Garden City

11 Jan 2019
  • A targeted operation has been set up to tackle anti-social behaviour in Welwyn Garden City town centre.

  • This is after a recent spike in reports relating to the area in the vicinity of McDonald’s and The Howard Centre.

  • Officers are increasing patrols and using a variety of tactics to deal with the minority of young people causing issues.

Officers in Welwyn Garden City are conducting a targeted operation to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) hotspots in the town centre.

Over the past few weeks the Constabulary has seen a spike in reports of ASB, particularly in the vicinity of the Howard Centre and McDonald’s.

In December, there was a total of 35 calls to the Constabulary about incidents of ASB in the town. This year there have been six reports so far, with none since January 4.

Complaints have included young people riding bicycles through the shopping centre, congregating outside the fast food restaurant, intimidating passers-by and using foul language.

In response to this, the Safer Neighbourhood Team have stepped up their patrols in the affected areas, first speaking to those young people responsible as well as issuing a total of seven warning letters.

This is followed up by a home visit where those responsible and their parents or carers are spoken to about the matter. Further police action is then taken in partnership with the council’s ASB team if the behaviour continues, in the form of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Community Protection Warnings.

Last weekend a total of nine dispersal notices were issued by officers in the town centre area, which meant all those engaging in ASB – or those believed to be engaging in ASB – were told to leave the area. If they returned during the notice period, they could be arrested.

With regards to the ongoing work in this area, officers are in liaison with the shopping centre with a view to improving security, CCTV coverage and lighting in the surrounding area in the near future.

Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Tannis Perks said: “I have now been in post for a year and during this time have seen some fantastic partnership work which has achieved a reduction in anti-social behaviour, making both Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield a more safe and enjoyable place to live and work.

“However I am disappointed that we have seen a recent increase in anti-social behaviour in Welwyn Garden City town centre over the past few weeks, particularly in the area near to McDonald’s, which involves a small minority of young people.

“Anti-social behaviour has a hugely detrimental effect on those living and working nearby therefore tackling this issue remains a priority for us.

“We have just welcomed a new Safer Neighbourhood Inspector, Wayne Nash, and he will continue the work already started to target those hotspot areas.

“Officers have been patrolling these locations using a variety of tools to combat the problem.

“We are also working closely with the Community Safety Partnership, in particular Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, to explore diversionary activities, signpost families to support services where required and liaise with businesses to provide crime prevention advice.

“My team will continue to do all in their power to crackdown on anti-social behaviour however I would like to appeal to the parents and carers of those who are causing these issues.

“I would urge you to speak to your sons and daughters and reiterate the message that this behaviour is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”

We encourage people to always report antisocial behaviour to us so we can take action. You can do so via the non-emergency number 101, online or via online web chat, where you can speak to a call operator in our Force Communications Room.

Chief Inspector Tannis Perks
Chief Inspector Tannis Perks

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