Health workers in a Doncaster town blighted by gang violence are being advised to travel in twos and keep their mobile phones with them at all times due to safety fears.
Bosses at the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) say they are currently taking ‘safety precautions’ for staff working in Mexborough, following issues with ‘gangs in certain streets in Mexborough’ that they have been made aware of.
The trust says that it has told workers to ensure that their phones are on and fully charged and that their managers know where their whereabouts at all times.
It has also advised staff members who do not feel comfortable or are concerned for their safety in Mexborough to go to a place where they feel safe and to travel in twos.
A spokesman for RDaSH said: “The safety of our staff is paramount and where our staff work alone, they are fully aware of our Lone Working Policy and the steps they need to take to ensure their safety.
“Our staff are aware that there have been some issues with gangs in certain streets of Mexborough and, as a result, we are currently taking safety precautions in these areas. This, however, has not impacted on the service we deliver.
“Families usually visit our staff at the local children’s centre, and if there were any safety issues on a day when our staff are scheduled to carry out a home visit , we would either cancel the visit and rearrange the appointment or, if it was safe to do so, we would ask the family to meet us at a different location.”
In recent months 10 men, identified as belonging to the Pitsmoor Shotta Boys gang, have been jailed for a range of serious offences including violent disorder, drug possession, witness intimidation, robbery and actual bodily harm. The convictions come as part of a targeted clampdown on gang-related criminality in the Schofield Street, Oliver Street and York Street areas of Mexborough, which Insp Richard Collingwood has identified as being the town’s problem areas for those sort of offences.
The clampdown has seen police arrest three on drug offences following raids of properties in that area last month and the local authority install a new CCTV system on Schofield Street. In addition, Superintendent Neil Thomas, has confirmed that high visibility patrols are being carried out in the area in a bid to reassure residents.
He said: “We are aware of the ongoing issues in Mexborough and share the concerns that people living in the area may have.
“We understand the effects instances of crime can have on local residents, and I would like to reassure them that we are continuing to work towards tackling crime in Mexborough.
“Both uniformed officers and PCSOs regularly patrol the area, carrying out high visibility patrols to offer reassurance, advice and support to the community.
“In terms of tackling criminality in the area, we have had some success in recent months. Just last month we charged three men in connection with drugs offences following a police operation in the area.
“Specialist officers continue to work with partner agencies and the Crown Prosecution Service to obtain a number of orders to prohibit anti-social behaviour. In addition to this, our detectives continue to make enquiries into a number of offences, and as a result, numerous arrests have been made.
“Our efforts to crack down on illegal activity will continue and the area remains an ongoing priority for our team. We are determined to make our town a safer place to work and live.
“I would ask anyone to report instances to of crime to us by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency, or if a crime is in progress.”
An incident can also be reported online at southyorks.police.uk/reportcrime. You can also pass on information to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.