Extra police on the streets of Conisbrough after shooting: Police column

Police are marking lots of properties with Smartwater
Police are marking lots of properties with Smartwater

We have had extra police on the streets of Conisbrough this week, after a major incident in the town when a gun was fired at a house, writes Insp Dan McKnight.  

A firearm was discharged on Old Road, with the gun fired at a window at one of the houses on the street.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident, but we are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen anything that morning. Call 101 and quote police incident 19 of October 24, or call Crimestoppers.

We were called at 12.40am.

There has been in increase in the number of officers on the streets of Conisbrough.

I have previously written in this column about a recent increase in antisocial behaviour in Conisbrough, but this incident involving a gun is not thought to be related to the antisocial behaviour issue that the town has seen recently.

CID are investigating the incident and one person has been arrested and released under investigation.

We are still working in Conisbrough to deal with the recent anti-social behaviour that has been going on there, 

We have been seeing large congregations of young people right in the town centre. These groups have been of up to 30 or 40 people, mostly around the multi-use games area where Old Road becomes Church Street, in a nearby field and also right in the centre of the town.

We are still working to try to tackle that, and we are trying to garner the support of parents.

We are in Conisbrough pretty much all the time at present, so we are seeing everything that goes on. Whenever we see criminal activity we are working to take action against the offenders.

In my last column I said we would be prepared to use all the powers available to us to deal with this, including dispersal orders under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. That allows us to take a designated area like Conisbrough town centre, and if we believe you’re causing antisocial behaviour, we will disperse you for 48 hours. We have not used these powers yet, but they are still an option.

Having more resources in Conisbrough has seen some measurable results.

In the first few days after we put extra officers in the town, we saw: 

# Two off road motorbikes seized and the riders reported for no insurance / licence

# Nine people arrested for various offences

# A total of 44 cars stopped

# Seven speeding tickets issues

We have also had people from the DVLA with us, and worked with children from years five and six in the local primary schools to talk about antisocial behaviour.

We have also had concerns raised about anti-social behaviour in Mexborough. It was an issue that was raised with us at the latest Community forum in the town.

The main issues that were raised were concerns over speeding vehicles and quad bikes on Plumpton Avenue and Coniston Road. It appears they are coming from the direction of the Trans Pennine trail. We’re looking at that and have already deployed the off-road bike team in the area. 

We have also had some incidents of antisocial behaviour in Mexborough town centre recently. It seems to be people screaming, running into shops, and setting off fireworks.

On one evening, we had three incidents around 7pm. We think it is the same group of people and we’re looking to identify them and take action.  If they have fireworks, we will try to identify where they are getting them from and take action against anyone selling them illegally.

As Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive we will be running Operation Anticipate with partners again this year. That means there are going to be activities for youngsters between 4pm until 8pm, to make sure there are plenty of fun things to do rather than be on the streets.

The last few weeks has also seen us start Operation Shield in Mexborough and Edlington. That is seeing us visit homes to mark property with  smart water, a chemical with enables us to identify any items which are stolen. It means items can be returned to their owners if there is a burglary.

This is something we will be doing over several months. I would urge anyone offered this to take it up.