Police and council set up base in Doncaster market to deal with antisocial behaviour

Market Place, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Doncaster MC 3
Market Place, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Doncaster MC 3

Police and council officials are setting up a base in Doncaster Market as they step up efforts to stop anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

The move has been revealed as businesses in the town centre are raising concerns that the problem has worsened recently after work to crack down on the issue was initially successful.

Doncaster Council's head of service (communities), Pat Hagan, has now told bosses that more action is being taken, and more police have been put onto the streets.

Members of the The Doncaster Town Centre Retail Forum have raised a string of concerns over levels of antisocial behaviour.

Business owners have told officials that while the levels of nuisance fell after the introduction of the Doncaster Public Space Protection Order initially curbed the problem of nuisance, the issue had crept back to the levels it had been before the order was brought in.

The order was brought in to give police new powers to deal with people whose antisocial behaviour causes problems for other people in the town centre.

But Mr Hagan said more police were being put into the town centre, and that a base was being put in place within the Corn Exchange at Doncaster Market, to make it easy for people to get hold of a police officer.

He said: "We have a clear plan and have been working with Ch Supt Shaun Morley about getting more police in the town centre, and we have seen a significant improvement in police numbers, and the council neighbourhood response team, and working jointly.

"The warm weather has had an affect too.

"We are getting people released from prison arriving on the streets, and we are getting new people who we have not seen before. Issues around street behaviour and begging have been a concern in every town.

"With people who won't engage with public services for help, we are escalating matters through criminal procedures. Some of those are being arrested and being processed through the courts."

He said extra camera had been put up in the town centre, and added that a base had been set up in the Corn Exchange, at the market, where people could contact police or council officials.

Doncaster's new police commander, Chief Supt Shaun Morley, has made the issue of the town centre one of his priorities.

In the last two weeks of June, there were 16 people reported for PSPO breaches, according to police. There were 18 people dispersed from the area, 388 people 'engaged with' and 707 hours of officer time was spent on visible patrol in the town.