Police ‘easy fix’ could yield big results by solving Wath youth problems

Wath’s youth population may soon have a new place to socialise as police work with other public sector organisations to find an answer to concerns over youth gangs congregating in the area.

Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 4:23 pm
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 3:45 pm

Problems are regarded as relatively low level, resulting from large numbers of young people meeting up rather than setting out to cause problems.

But police acknowledge their presence in large numbers can create concern among some parts of the community, who feel intimidated by the presence of ‘packs’ of youngsters.

So locally based officers are now working with other bodies to try to find a venue which can be used officially to provide a meeting place.

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Details of the plan were provided to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, at a meeting of his Public Accountability Board, which is used to hold South Yorkshire Police to account.

Rotherham’s district commander, Chief Supt Una Jennings, told him anti social behaviour in Wath was “not in the higher echelons” but said “What we are doing is working with partners.

“We are looking at finding premises where they can congregate, which doesn’t promote an anti-social behaviour type dynamic when, in truth, it is just teenagers hanging around take-aways.”

Police work in the area also involves making the youths themselves aware of the impact their presence, in numbers, can have.

“It is quite an easy fix, but should have a disproportionate impact,” she said.