Doncaster police given new powers to tackle tensions

NDFP-Hexthorpe scene pics  Bandstand
NDFP-Hexthorpe scene pics Bandstand

Police have been given new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour after racial tensions led to violence erupting in a Doncaster village.

As part of new legislation introduced by the governnment, South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council are planning to introduce a public space protection order in the village of Hexthorpe later this month.

Under the order – which will be the first of its kind in Doncaster – it will be an offence for people to congregate in groups of three or more.

The order will also prevent residents from using Hexthorpe Flatts park, based on Urban Road, between 9.30pm and 7am. Residents say the park is seen as a ‘catalyst’ for anti-social behaviour, where groups of people are seen congregating and playing loud music late at night.

It is also hoped that the order will help to tackle other escalating problems caused by anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping – which occurs in Hexthorpe so frequently that the council is forced to do a ‘deep clean’ of the area once a fortnight.

The order is expected to be introduced by the end of August.

The introduction of the order follows calls from residents for more to be done to ease tensions in the area after a number of racially-aggravated incidents. Recent offences on the streets of Hexthorpe include a man being attacked in his car by a group armed with baseball bats; and a brawl leading to two men being stabbed.

Coun Chris McGuinness, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We will not accept crime and anti-social behaviour within our communities. That is why we are introducing a public space protection order in Hexthorpe.

“This is a new power available to councils which has already been used to good effect by other authorities.

“We have listened to local residents about the issues that are affecting their community.

“The public space protection order will come into force shortly and we will continue to work with our partners and communities to make Hexthorpe a cleaner and safer place to live.”

Central area temporary Insp Lynne Lancaster, told The Star that South Yorkshire hopes the order will help to make Hexthorpe a better place to for residents to live.

She said: “Anti-social behaviour is one of the biggest issues in Hexthorpe, and this order means we will be able to tackle it more directly.”