Council wants to make Doncaster town centre enforcement team permanent in order to tackle anti-social behaviour

Doncaster Council wants to permanently extend the use of town centre enforcement officers to stamp down on anti-social behaviour and to provide reassurance to residents and businesses.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 3:07 pm

A number of staff who patrol the town centre from 7am until 10pm seven days a week will have their contracts extended for a further three months while a review is carried out into the service.

Council bosses have indicated that they want operations to continue on a permanent basis. The town centre team has been operating on a temporary basis since October 2020.

There are six permanent roles but the extension relates to a town centre operations manager and six engagement officers. It is expected to cost around £63,000.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Doncaster Council wants to make the Town Centre Engagement Team a permanent in its attempt to improve the town centre.

The enforcement teams were set up to combat growing anger from residents and businesses around anti-social behaviour and drug abuse in 2018.

Residents and business owners highlighted problems around begging and the use of Spice – a synthetic cannabis product which leaves people paralysed, unable to move.

For a time, Doncaster Council even paid South Yorkshire Police to provide extra patrols in the town centre and a renewed Public Space Protection Order was implemented in an attempt to clamp down on the anti-social behaviour.

Last year, Mayor Ros Jones sent a scathing letter to South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings over the ‘unfair allocation’ of new officers being posted to Doncaster.

Police officers on patrol in Doncaster town centre. Credit: George Torr/LDRS

Pat Hagan, head of localities and town centre, at Doncaster Council, said: “A review of the management of Doncaster town centre is underway and the preferred option being developed includes establishing a dedicated team that makes permanent the temporary arrangements in place.

“The review, if agreed, will not be completed and implemented until the summer, so this proposal seeks to provide continuity in the job role for a mixture of permanent employees working on a revised job role and a number of employees on interim and fixed term contracts

“The Town Centre Management Team’s focus is to connect with and support both town centre users and businesses with a highly visible day consistent level of presence.

“They also provide information advice and guidance for businesses and town centre users, addressing unacceptable behaviours, enforcement, problem solving on day-to-day operational issues and providing practical support for business and a conduit to wider support.”