CLUBS and pubs in Harrogate are being asked to ban the town’s worst offenders as police crack down on anti-social behaviour.
Violent and repeat offenders are the focus of the campaign by Harrogate police to stamp out crime in the town centre.
And since its launch six weeks ago, Operation Bottle has seen a 10 per cent drop in night-time violence and a 30 per cent drop in anti-social behaviour.
Acting Sgt Tom Jackson said: “The message is that if you do drink in the town centre and cause problems we will be looking to keep you out of pubs and clubs.
“Our aim is to reduce violence and disorder to make Harrogate a safer place for people who work, live and play here.”
Police have written to repeat offenders and those with a conviction for theft or violence, warning them that they are being watched.
Pubs and clubs have been sent a list of who to look out for, with pictures of the people the police are asking them to turn away. There are more officers in the town centre at trouble times, keeping the peace and raising awareness.
They are also issuing “direction to leave” orders, sending people home for a set amount of time when it looks like they might cause trouble.
“It prevents them from carrying on drinking and from escalating their behaviour,” said Insp Bruce Prendergast, of the Harrogate Town Safer Neighbourhood Team. “By asking people to leave before their behaviour does escalate it stops us from criminalising them.”
Police are also working with Harrogate Borough Council to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and anti-social behaviour, and have pledged extra resources into the campaign.
“We want people to safely enjoy a night out,” said Insp Prendergast. “Harrogate is a safe place to be. We are the safest county in England and Harrogate is one of the safest towns in that county. This is about making sure that everyone enjoys a good night out.”