A resident has written to us about rowdy behaviour in the City Centre this weekend.
Its an issue that has grown in recent years and one that will tarnish the City’s image unless addressed by the authorities.
Firm action is now required.
Next Saturday seeks a local derby football match in the City. That may put additional pressures on policing resources.
The timing of the match doesn’t look to be particularly enlightened.
According to community safety officials problems with drink related crime in the city centre reduced last year.
A new report says, “alcohol-related occurrences have decreased by 3% (50 incidents) in 2015 .
ASB nuisance reports decreased by 11% (172 incidents). These reports include: begging and vagrancy, buskers, street urination, public order behaviour such as fighting or drunkenness and verbal abuse. Theft related incidents were also down”.
However, “Violence-related reports increased by 18 incidents in 2015”. Violent crime covers a wide spectrum from minor assaults, harassment and abuse that result in no physical harm to the victim through to incidents of wounding and murder
Most of the problems occur in Coney Street, Micklegate, Blake Street, Blossom Street and Clifford Street.
The highest levels of reported occurrences are during the summer months of July and August, together with December. Calls for police service are at their highest on weekends; Saturday and Sunday. This was consistent across 2014 and 2015. Activity is highest between 1pm-6pm and midnight-4am.
In response to a small survey of City centre visitors by the Police, 52% felt that York was not family friendly on a Saturday afternoon, 50% felt that partner agencies were working well together to make York safe on Saturdays and 94% felt that seeing a police presence in the city made them feel safer.
The Police blame visitors from the North East and South Yorkshire for many of the issues.
More patrols are now operating on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, the Council are in the process of recruiting two full-time Licensing Enforcement Officers who will work evenings and weekends and whose duties will include visits to licensed premises to ensure they are complying with the Licensing Act 2003 and any additional licence conditions.
Unfortunately, the report makes no mention of the increased anti-social behaviour problems evident in some sub-urban areas over the last 12 months
The York Council is planning to go ahead with the proposal to introduce a Public Space Protection Order in The Groves.
The proposal will be discussed at a meeting taking place on 16th November and is mainly aimed at eliminating “street drinking”.
Over 200 complaints of alcohol related anti social behavior were received for the Groves area last year.
85% of respondents to a recent consultation exercise said they favoured new restrictions on public drinking.
Offenders face a £100 fixed penalty notice
The area to be covered by the order can be viewed by clicking here
A new partnership is launching its first campaign to clamp down on the anti-social behaviour of a minority which can blight the majority’s enjoyment of the beautiful City of York.
City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police have welcomed the involvement of train operating companies, York Racecourse and city centre licensed premises, as well as Make It York and the proposed York Bid.
The campaign complements other initiatives used to quell anti-social behaviour on race and match days and the positive effect of the Alcohol Restriction Zone (ARZ) which extends within the city walls, along Micklegate and the area around the station.
There will be a heightened presence of officers from British Transport and North Yorkshire Police – including special constables – and Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers from the multi-agency Community Safety Hub. Every Saturday throughout September, starting on 5 September, these officers will remind people travelling by train to the city, arriving at York station and those out and about in the city centre, to respect the city they are visiting and enjoy themselves responsibly. They will be doing this alongside any necessary enforcement action on trains, at the station and throughout the ARZ.