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Antisocial behaviour and shop theft targeted during day of action

September 22, 2021
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Shoplifting, antisocial behaviour and casual drug use topped the agenda as police and council officers joined forces for a coordinated day of action.

Police in Mansfield joined forces with the district council and other local support agencies  to address some of the key local concerns raised by residents and businesses in the town centre from dawn until dusk.

The day started at around 6am with council officers engaging proactively with rough sleepers. Supported by outreach workers from the charity Framework, they approached people causing obstructions to businesses and signposted them to support. One person was moved on from under a cash machine as a result.

As shops, businesses and market stalls opened for business attention shifted to shoplifting, aggressive begging and other contraventions to the town centre Public Spaces Protection Order such as cycling through pedestrianised areas and dropping litter.

Uniformed and plain-clothed police officers, supported by PCSOs, council neighbourhood wardens and traffic wardens maintained a strong presence in the town centre throughout the day.

In later afternoon and early evening attention finally shifted nuisance parking by private hire and delivery drivers, and alcohol and drug-fuelled antisocial behaviour. Youth workers were on hand to speak to any young people causing a nuisance in the town centre.

More than 20 police officers were in the town centre throughout the day to both target offenders and engage proactive with members of the public.

Supported by a section 35 dispersal order, officers instructed a total of eight people to leave the town centre and stay away for a period of 48 hours – giving them a proportionate alternative to arresting people for lower-level misdemeanours.

Three people were also detained for carrying Mamba – a potent form of synthetic cannabis commonly associated with nuisance behaviour. They were not arrested but were instructed to attend Mansfield police station for processing 48 hours later.

Licensing officers form the police and council also visited numerous premises to ensure that they were selling alcohol in a responsible way.

Two shop thefts were also prevented and offenders dealt with. One was forced to pay for the item they’d taken and was immediately banned from the store.

Two vehicles were also seized for having no insurance.

PC Kevin Marshall, beat manger for Mansfield town centre, said: “Altogether we had more than 20 police officers in and around the town centre – all supported by many other partners from the local community. Together we provided a very visible presence in the town centre and the response we received was fantastic. Members of the public were really supportive of what we were doing and we made direct contact with a lot of people who hadn’t spoken directly to the police for a long time so it was an invaluable opportunity to develop new contacts and generate better local intelligence.”

Similar actions will be planned for the coming months.

Inspector Nick Butler, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We maintain a regular dialogue with local residents and businesses and work hard to respond to their concerns.

“Over the last few months we’ve heard more and more form local residents and businesses about the impact of low-level crime and antisocial behaviour in the town centre. These types of incidents – shop thefts, aggressive begging and intimidatory behaviour – are unlikely to make the news, but they are a serious cause of concern for people living in working in the town centre. An if the matter to them they also matter to us.

“Tackling antisocial behaviour is now a key priority for us and we are working every day to address these issues. On this occasion we worked with other local partners to throw some additional resources at the problem and provide extra reassurance to local people.”

Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams said: "The council was pleased to support the police and our other partners in the town centre during the operation which we hope will promote public confidence that we take criminality and antisocial behaviour issues in our town centre very seriously.

"It is one of the council's top priorities for people who live here, work here and visit our district that they feel safe.

"Our neighbourhood wardens do a brilliant job at encouraging people to behave responsibly and with respect for others.

"We prefer to use the carrot and cajole people into doing the right thing - for instance walking through the pedestrianised parts of the town centre in the daytime, rather than cycling through it.

"But occasionally we have to use the stick, too, and issue fixed penalty notices or direction to leave orders.

"We believe strongly that the best approach is to work collaboratively with the police and other agencies to achieve long-term improvements in community safety."

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