Police respond to town centre 'drug dealing' in Harrogate
Harrogate Police are set to step their activities in the town centre after being called to investigate alleged 'drug dealing' in the shadow of a church in the heart of the main shopping area.
The matter was raised by fed-up by shop keepers who say they have been plagued by anti-social behaviour and worse in recent days.
Harrogate, in general, has always been regarded as a low crime area and reports of trouble are not on a par with major cities.
But Mr Robert Kennedy-Bruyneels of G23 designer menwear store on Cambridge Road and Porters menswear shop on Oxford Street said this morning, Thursday he had spotted what he thought was drug dealing taking place in the open air in full view of passersby just yards from his businesses.
Mr Kennedy said: "The situation with drugs, alcohol, fighting, abusing passers by, begging and all round anti-social behaviour, taking place near our shop between St Peter's Church and the Methodist church on Oxford Street has got to be brought to an end."There's way too much talking and way too much passing the buck. "
Responding to his complaints, Harrogate police said they believed it certainly suspicious and were taking speedy action.
They said they were sending two police officers to talk to the shop owner this afternoon and look into the situation.
Harrogate Police also told the Harrogate Advertiser they would be increasing stop checks and searches where there was suspicious behaviour.
Acknowledging that Harrogate does suffer from the county lines issue, the police said say they and their partners were working hard to carry out enforcement and prevention activity in the town.
Harrogate Borough Council and relevant organisations helping the homeless in the town centre have also been alerted to the problems and have offered to their help and support.