SPECIAL REPORT: Calls for more police in Chesterfield town centre at '˜kicking out time'
A concerned cabbie has called for an increased police presence at '˜kicking out time' in Chesterfield town centre.
Paul Mann said more officers need to patrol the Corporation Street area between the hours of 3am and 5am in a bid to crackdown on yobbish behaviour.
The 52-year-old, who has worked as a taxi driver for 20 years, is now considering leaving his job because of the ‘very worrying’ situation.
Mr Mann, of Chesterfield, said: “Without a doubt, things are getting worse.
“There aren’t enough police around Corporation Street at kicking out time.
“Between the hours of 3am and 5am, it’s chaos along there.
“There’s all sorts of anti-social behaviour – young lads getting into fights, people being sick, drunks arguing. It’s very messy.
“I was attacked when I was working earlier this year and now I’m thinking about retiring because it really is a very worrying situation.
“There should be more police in that particular area at kicking out time to tackle what’s going on – and to make people feel safer.
“That’s a sentiment shared by many of my colleagues and customers.”
Mr Mann said he believes many people stay in town until the early hours of the morning after ‘pre-loading’, the process of getting drunk at home prior to heading out.
He also criticised 24-hour drinking laws.
“I think these factors are playing a big part in creating this problem,” he added.
Mr Mann’s comments come after the death of young soldier Chris Henchliffe.
The 26-year-old sadly passed away in hospital on the morning of Tuesday, July 12,
following an alleged attack in the town centre.
According to police, Mr Henchliffe was allegedly assaulted by three men outside the Pomegranate Theatre in Corporation Street sometime between 4am and 4.30am on Sunday, July 3.
Benjamin Edwards, 21, from Fieldview Place, Chesterfield, was subsequently charged with causing grievous bodily harm.
He is next due to appear at Derby Crown Court on August 2.
Two 24-year-old men, arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, have been released on bail while enquiries continue.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 16000177569.
Inspector John Turner oversees policing in Chesterfield.
He told the Derbyshire Times: “Policing the night-time economy is a priority for us to help maintain public safety and prevent any alcohol-related incidents from occurring.
“Our resources are allocated to both planned and spontaneous policing issues over a 24-hour period.
“Beyond normal staffing levels, we also have designated officers who are tasked to patrol the night-time economy area of Chesterfield town centre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
“They also receive support from colleagues in other areas of policing.
“Officers are needed to cover all policing incidents which take place across Chesterfield, Staveley and surrounding areas, particularly in the early hours of the morning.
“Risk assessments are carried out throughout the night and officers are allocated to deal with incidents and patrol particular locations.
“People leave bars and clubs in Chesterfield throughout the night and we do work hard to carry out high-visibility foot patrols and response presence throughout the night so that we can deal effectively with any issues.”
Commenting on our Facebook page, Lindsay Hall said: “I’m 100 per cent behind Mr Mann.”
Mandy Madin said: “Chesterfield is getting worse.”
Kay Canavan said: “I don’t go into town anymore. It’s not safe.”
Lorraine Astell said: “I remember when pubs closed at 11am and clubs shut at 2am. By 3am town was quiet because people had nowhere to go except home!”
Martin Wood said: “Close the clubs at 2am. Simple.”
Karen Hancock said: “There’s no need for clubs to be open until stupid-o-clock.”
Rich Fletcher said: “Rather than closing places earlier and spoiling the enjoyment of others, crackdown harder on the idiots. The troublemakers need to be dealt with more severely – rather than taking a Nanny State approach and reducing opening hours just because some people can’t behave themselves.”