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Days of action here to stay as partnership policing pilot adopted

January 15, 2022
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Shoplifting, antisocial behaviour and casual drug use are the focus of a new and regular partnership policing plan.

Police in Mansfield recently joined forces with the district council and other support agencies on a trial basis to address some of the key local concerns raised by people living and working in the town centre.

Three coordinated days of action, supported by Safer Streets funding secured by police and crime commissioner Caroline Henry, have since been held, bringing together police officers, council wardens, BID ambassadors and specialist street outreach workers from the charity Framework.

Because of their success, further days of action will be held every month going forward – starting on Thursday 20 January.

The idea of the initiative has been to address the main problems experienced from dawn until dusk on busy market days – starting with the challenges posed by sleeping rough and ending with a focus on the issues posed by the night-time economy.

In between the focus is on low level antisocial behaviour, inconsiderate and potentially dangerous driving.

PC Kev Marshall, beat manager for Mansfield Town Centre, said: “My colleague PC Louise Martin and I are on patrol in the town centre every day and we see with our own eyed the problems that we face.

“Whilst none of these issues are easy to solve, we have come to understand that most of them can be put into time brackets and policed accordingly by effectively using the expertise and powers of our local partners.

“Framework, for example, are experts in supporting rough sleepers and steering them away from homelessness so our work with them is mainly about giving support where it Is needed and seeking to better understand the local homeless community. Between us we want to break the cycle that too many people seem to get stuck in.

“Council wardens and BID Ambassadors, meanwhile, are extremely effective at policing some of the low-level antisocial behaviour issues in the town – for example people riding bikes through the market square.

“By coming together and combing our powers, expertise and experience we can achieve a lot in a short space of time People committing offences are more likely to be held to account for them and (perhaps as importantly) we are able to build stronger working relationships with local people who are really our eyes and ears on the ground”

So far the days of action have resulted in 20 arrests and or prosecutions for various offences, around 30 fines and ten people being ordered to leave the town centre.

The announcement of the expansion comes before the start of National Neighbourhood Policing Week on Monday, seven days of action and initiative to promote effective community policing.

Inspector Nick Butler, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We are listening to local residents and businesses and responding to their concerns in a new and effective way. We understand the very considerable impact that seemingly low level offending and antisocial behaviour can have on the health of the town centre and are committed to tackling these issues in any way we can.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “This is positive news for the residents of Mansfield and shows we are listening and responding to their concerns over crime with robust and positive action.

“The Safer Streets-funded action days have been well-received by the community and have helped residents feel safer as well as delivering positive results.

“High-visibility policing reduces the fear of crime and helps to deter crime and antisocial behaviour. It is really important to the public and so I am delighted these action days are set to continue.”

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing at Mansfield District Council, said: “We are very pleased that these Days of Action are to become a regular arrangement between the police, council and other partners, under the Safer Streets initiative.

“Working together, we believe, is the best approach to reducing crime and making the town centre safer. As a council our overarching focus is to make Mansfield a welcoming place where people want to spend more time as part of our Destination Mansfield ambitions.

“Although the kinds of anti-social behaviour issues that these days of action look at may be viewed as relatively ‘low level’ from a policing perspective, from a public perspective they are seen as an important driving factor about whether or not people visit the town centre so we consider it vital they are given the kind of focused attention they are now receiving.”

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