Special police operation underway to combat anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre
A special police operation is underway in Chesterfield town centre to combat anti-social behaviour, the Derbyshire Times has learned.
So far, officers have made nearly 40 arrests as part of Operation Barrichello, which started at the start of August and is set to continue over the next few months.
Uniformed and plain-clothed police are carrying out patrols in the town in a bid to tackle yobbish behaviour and criminal activity.
During August, the Chesterfield Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team made arrests for 37 offences.
Eight were for suspected possession of the class B drug Mamba, seven for assault, three for shoplifting and two for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order, preventing offenders from entering the town centre.
The other arrests were for offences including criminal damage and public order.
Several people have been charged and are awaiting court appearances with others released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Inspector Dave Nicholls has taken over the responsibility for the policing of Chesterfield after Insp John Turner retired from Derbyshire Constabulary last month.
A police officer for 15 years, Insp Nicholls said he was 'honoured' to be given the role and added: "I am currently conducting a full review of how Chesterfield is policed as a whole and I've started with the town centre which is one of my top priorities.
"I know the impact the issues around rough sleeping, street drinking and drug use are having on people who visit and work in the area.
"The operation has been created to formalise the response given to dealing with issues in the town centre and it is being run by the town centre team.
"I have increased the number of officers who are dedicated to policing the town centre and we are already seeing the results from it.
"This isn't just about enforcement - it's about making sure vulnerable people get the support they need to break their cycle of behaviour."
Officers from the Chesterfield Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team are also linking with other agencies to work together to target crime and disorder, including Pathways, P3, the probation service, Chesterfield Borough Council, the Chesterfield Community Safety Partnership and Shop Watch.
Insp Nicholls added: "I know people want the issues addressing in the town centre so I would really like people to get behind us with this operation and support us.
"The operation has to be intelligence-led and that intelligence comes from members of the public going about their daily business.
"The information you provide us is vital to the success of this operation so either call us or share your information with one of the town centre team.
"Officers will be working out of a mobile police station which will be parked at various locations within the town centre so please visit them and give them your support."
Report crimes to police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.