North Yorkshire Police have said its new operation to tackle Harrogate’s street drinkers sends a clear message that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
Police launched “Operation Yeehaw” in November to combat the re-emergence of the town’s street drinking problem and threatening behaviour from groups gathering near Wesley Chapel.
The partnership operation includes high-visibility police patrols and sees officers and PCSOs enforcing Harrogate’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) when needed.
In the two weeks after the operation launched on November 7, there have been five arrests for a range of offences with 18 people challenged for street drinking.
Inspector Penny Taylor, of Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It is clear that the message is getting through to those who commit crime and anti-social behaviour in our town centre, that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
“We are getting very positive feedback from residents and I’d like to thank them for supporting this operation.
“I would also urge them to continue to call us with reports of crime and anti-social behaviour, via 101 or 999 in an emergency, so we can maintain this positive action.
“The operation will carry on into December, so we can continue to keep anti-social behaviour to a minimum and ensure the community feels safe.”
Superintendent Paula Booth said that the partnership hub was essential for preventing Anti Social Behaviour incidents and understanding the reasons behind it.
She said: “We can’t do it on our own you can’t guarantee police are there 24/7 to see what else is happening.
“But if we have partners working with us and special constables and members of the community then that massively increases our ability to deal with it.
“We have a hub an say people call the police, we can then establish that there’s a trend and an issue.
“After officers have gone and spoken to the individuals it’s then a case of trying to look at the problem in its entirety.”
Supt Booth said the responses can include looking at enforcement as well as issues over licensing, homelessness, alcohol and young people in order to come up with a joint plan.