More CCTV brought onto streets: police column CCTV cameras to boost security in Doncaster village: police column

We now have a new weapon in the fight against anti-social behaviour.

By David Kessen
Friday, 22 February, 2019, 14:50

Conisbrough town centre has been fitted with closed circuit television cameras, as the latest step in efforts to stop people causing a public nuisance in the town.

I've been in post as the neighbourhood inspector for Doncaster West for four weeks now, and antisocial behaviour in Conisbrough has been an issue for a few months.

CCTV has been installed around the centre of Conisbrough. Church Street, pictured. Picture: NDFP-16-02-19-CCTVConisbrough-1

Before arriving in Doncaster West, I'd spent 12 months as a response inspector in Doncaster, and before that had been a temporary neighbourhood inspector in Rotherham, an area which included places like Swinton and Wath. I have heard some of the names I am hearing now from my time there.

Working in response was more about firefighting. You deal with an incident and move on to the next one. Neighbourhoods work is a longer term, problem solving job, which can be really satisfying.

We also have a new sergeant, Sgt Rich Mangham, joining the neighbourhoods team having previously work in the response team based at Mexborough.

Conisbrough is a good example of neighbourhood policing.

There have been antisocial behaviour issues there for a few months, and we have had a plan and multi-agency operation going on, with strong action and enforcement, and working with the community.

The result has been a 50 per cent fall in complaints of antisocial behaviour in the last four weeks, compared to the four week period before that.

We are starting to see the effects of our action. I can't take all the credit as a lot of work had been done before I arrived, but it has been the number one issue, and the problem has started to tail off. We can't take our eye off the ball and are continuing the work.

The operation started with plain clothes officers identifying who was causing problems. It is now moving into high visibility patrols in the area. We had recently had mounted patrols out, as well as officers in vans.

The CCTV cameras have been brought in, with the work managed by Doncaster Council. The three cameras  link to the control room at the Civic Building in Doncaster town centre.

The cameras will be a massive help. It will help with the issue of sustaining a presence in the area, as there will be eyes watching even when we are not there. It will hopefully act as a deterrent, and help identify people involved in anti-social behaviour and criminality.

We have recently made arrests over hate crime in Conisbrough, too.

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We made an arrest after a male went into a shop on Micklebring Road, and was racially abusive towards the staff in the shop. That was the third recent arrest for similar hate crime in a short period of time, each involving a different suspect, and we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.

This week we have been involved in a week of action in Edlington. People will have seen a high visibility police presence, as well as some enforcement action and community engagement.

Elsewhere, we have recently seen antisocial behaviour on the increase in Scawthorpe, around Amersall Road. We believe we have identified the key individuals, and they have had joint visits from ourselves and Doncaster Council officers. This seems to be having an effect, with reports starting to tail off. The problem has not been overt criminality, but more things like verbal abuse of people in and around the library.

In Mexborough, there has been a lot of action to deal with organised criminal gangs based there, and we have just made some arrests.

Three people from Mexborough were arrested after our officers carried out a raid with a warrant at Glen Villas in Denaby Main, on February 13. Heroin and crack cocaine was seized.

In a separate raid, again with a warrant, an imitation firearm was seized from a house on Hawthorne Crescent, Mexborough.

Other key issues in Mexborough have been off road bikes and vacancy and begging.

A lot has been done involving ourselves and the council to deal with rough sleeping and begging. A lot has been around the council putting people in contact with support for their complex needs. 

But there have been two individuals who have not been receptive to that. We have used community protection notices with them over aggressive begging. These notices start with a warning, and can eventually lead to the courts if the individual does not comply with them. We have not had to take things further and the feedback we have had from the community is that the situation is improving.

Off road bikes remain an issue across the neighbourhood, not just in Mexborough.

The force has an off road biking team, and we bid for their services on a weekly basis. That team is in our patch every week.

I have also heard this week that the force is looking to invest in some drones. We used to use the force helicopter to follow nuisance bikers. Hopefully drones could be a resource we could tap into to deal with nuisance bikers, to watch from the air. That could be a game changer, as it can be hard to pursue and stop bikers.