By Christopher Morgan
Kirklees Council’s Safer Kirklees Team has been working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, Greenspace Action Team and Rough Sleepers Initiative Team to carry out a dedicated week of action to tackle town centre anti-social behaviour.
During this dedicated week of action, collective tools and powers were used to address some of Huddersfield town centre’s issues such as street drinking, aggressive begging and substance misuse.
This week of action resulted in, 25 people being signposted to organisations such as Housing Solutions, Huddersfield Methodist Mission and substance misuse agencies to receive additional support.
Two individuals were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices and 14 ‘direction to leave’ orders were issued (person/s ordered to leave the town centre for a minimum of 48 hours). The orders were issued for a number of reasons including drinking alcohol in the street and aggressive begging.
A ‘direction to leave’ order is issued by the police to a person/s in a public place suspected of contributing to, or is likely to cause members of the public in the area to be harassed, alarmed or distressed, or that the person is likely to contribute to a crime or disorder.
Cllr Carole Pattison, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “Kirklees Council has been working closely with the police and other organisations to collectively monitor, signpost and carry out appropriate enforcement activity.
“Joined up partnership working to deliver dedicated weeks of action like these help keep our communities safe.
“We want all our residents and visitors to feel safe and protected from harm. The council also has a unique role to play in supporting vulnerable people and we are committed to working with people and communities to resolve any issues that may arise.”
Kirklees Safer Communities Team and West Yorkshire Police will be working with Kirklees Licensing during the next week of action taking place in September.
Chief Inspector Ben Ryder, of Kirklees District Police, said: “We have been working closely with Safer Kirklees and the Council regarding the issue of street begging for some time following feedback from residents and businesses, and fully appreciate the sensitivities of what is a highly emotive subject.
“Our key role as police officers is to aid those at risk and therefore our concern, as it is for other agencies, is to ensure those who are by definition vulnerable receive the help and support they need.
“The work we have undertaken in partnership over the past week has been incredibly successful and the results we have achieved together have been really encouraging.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime in Huddersfield town centre. I hope that these kinds of initiatives are reassuring to our residents and local communities that we are committed to ensuring that Huddersfield and Kirklees is a safe place to live, work and visit.”