Antisocial behaviour sparks crime crackdown

Sgt Les Rawson
Sgt Les Rawson

One-hundred and fifty hypodermic needles were found in one week around Chesterfield town hall - sparking a major clampdown on antisocial behaviour.

Police will introduce new powers tomorrow in a bid to break up gangs and target louts after a flood of complaints about drunkenness, noise, urinating on the war memorial, intimidating and abusive behaviour.

Officers have received persistent calls about problems in Beetwell Street, the market place and the parade of shops on West Bars.

Street cleaners also gathered 150 needles - mainly in Shentall Gardens - in just one week.

Community Safety Partnership Sgt Les Rawson said: “This area is a premier public place in Chesterfield and the enjoyment of the majority of people is being blighted by a few adults.”

He added tackling antisocial behaviour was the police’s number one priority and they were treating the incidents seriously.

“There are around 20 to 25 hard-core drug takers and drinkers in the town centre causing these problems. We don’t want these people in Chesterfield,” he said.

The order gives police the power to move on groups causing antisocial behaviour.

Louts can be excluded from an area for 24 hours - or face fines of up to £2,500.

The order will remain in force until next February.

Chesterfield Borough Council leader John Burrows said: “Anti-social behaviour in our town centre has got to be dealt with and we have a responsibility to protect citizens.

“I support the police’s steps to tackle this.”

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David Fieldsend said: “I work opposite this area and I’ve lost count the amount of times drunken behaviour has resulted in either the special constables or police have had to turn up and either move or arrest these people.”

Mammy Snook added: “I walk that way for my baby groups weekly always past adults drinking early morning and sometimes with there own kids with them, no shame.”

Peter Pop Wilson said: “It’s the same group of adults everyday, they hang around from the KFC all the way to the bottom of the town hall and at times in the queens park, making suggestive remarks to young girls passing by. My two daughters find it scary and intimidating. Something more than just moving them on for a few hours needs to be done.”

Sheila Cresswell added: “Have seen a lot of drunk adults swearing and arguing amongst themselves. Mainly on West Bars and at bus stops just down from the Portland.”

Nicky Boam said: “Does anyone ever think about what could be the cause of so many homeless drunks milling around with nothing to do and nowhere to go? It’s a safe bet that with current Government policy the problem is going to get far worse over the next few years.”