Police go out on Mischief watch

Prepared: AACC Bob Sanderson.
Prepared: AACC Bob Sanderson.
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HIGH profile police patrols are taking place across the county as officers from South Yorkshire Police prepare to crackdown on misbehaving youngsters.

Every year calls from the public around Hallowe’en, Mischief Night and Guy Fawkes Night increase by as much as 30 per cent, sometimes leaving resources stretched.

This year police are planning a two pronged approach to the problem period, coupling targeted patrols with a busy programme of youth-oriented activities.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Bob Sanderson said the coming days were traditionally very busy for all the emergency services.

“We see an increase in emergency calls but also calls relating to low level crime, anti-social behaviour and firework-related incidents,” he said. “From tonight we will be sending out extra patrols, both of constables and police community support officers, particularly from the late afternoons to the early hours.

“We will be switching shifts to increase to our resources, meaning we will have extra staff on duty to meet demand,” AACC Sanderson said. “Peer pressure is often a factor why young people get involved in low level nuisance incidents if there is too little to do, hence the activities programme.”

These will include sports events, football tournaments, DJ workshops, dance classes, arts and crafts and fancy dress parties, with details on Facebook and Twitter.

Police are still urging the public to report any incidents, with the 101 line available for non-emergency situations.

AACC Sanderson said there was no question of deterring youngsters from going trick or treating, which was now a well established tradition.

He said: “What we would say is not to go out in big crowds, especially teenage groups which can be intimidating for some people, while children should be accompanied by parents.”