North Yorkshire Police launch #NYPThinkOfTheConsequences

North Yorkshire Police has launched a hard-hitting video campaign this summer to encourage young people to think of the consequences before abusing alcohol.

The video which is titled #NYPThinkOfTheConsquences was commissioned following instances of alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour in open spaces within York during the summer months. It will be shown to all secondary school children within the City of York ahead of the summer break and posted externally on NYP social media channels.

York College drama students are used as actors in a scenario which involves a visit to a park. The students consume alcohol which impacts on their decision making and results in five consequences which involve the emergency services and family members. Viewers of the video are then asked, “Is it worth it?” and the video concludes with the message of #NYPThinkOfTheConsequences.

Police hope the video will highlight the risks associated with alcohol and help educate young people about the impairment on their decision making following the consumption of alcohol and the devastating consequences that this can bring.

The commander for York and Selby, Superintendent Mark Khan from North Yorkshire Police said:

“Alcohol related anti-social behaviour is time consuming for us to deal with so anything which we can do to reduce the calls to service is beneficial.

“We are not unique in York and North Yorkshire experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour particularly as the weather improves and students finish for their summer break. We will continue to work with our partners to patrol hotpot areas at key times.

“It’s our job as the police to engage with communities to prevent crime. My hope is that this video will be shared far and wide so they key messages will reach as many young people as possible.”

York College’s Chief Executive and Principal, Lee Probert said: “To be involved in this video has been an incredible opportunity for our Media Makeup degree students and our Level Three acting students.

“To be part of such a professional production is an amazing experience for them, especially working with North Yorkshire Police.

“The video also delivers a serious and important message and it’s one we very much support here at York College; anti-social behaviour is not only a nuisance, but in the most serious cases can have major consequences on the lives of those involved.

“York College is very proud to be a part of this campaign”.

NB. ITV Calendar have been filming today in Foxwood as part of the new anti drink campaign

Advice from the Police as half term approaches

Make it a trouble-free half-term break for school kids 🏫

Many youngsters will be enjoying a half-term holiday away from school next week – but others will still be in the midst of exam stress.

Either way, we can all take responsibility to ensure that young people are safe and stay out of trouble.

Without a doubt, most young people are well-behaved and act responsibly when they’re away from school. But we’re asking parents and carers to make sure, by knowing know where their children are and what they’re up to next week.

Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams have plans in place to respond to any reports of youth-related anti-social behaviour promptly and proportionately.

PCSOs in a park in Scarborough

Should you need to, you can of course report anti-social behaviour to us. You could call us, or save time and make your report online here: https://orlo.uk/h0wEi

With your support, we can ensure everyone stays safe! 👍

And if you live in York, then make sure you’re signed up to our ‘Be Informed’ service.

If our officers attend any antisocial behaviour incidents in your local area, parents and carers can receive an email and SMS alert to you can contact your children, check their whereabouts, make sure they’re okay and reassure yourself that they’re not involved in the incident.

To sign up, you need to join our North Yorkshire Community Messaging service (search this on our website) and then email: BeInformed@northyorkshire.police.uk with the following info:

➡️ Your full name

➡️ Your mobile number

➡️ The name of the area you live

➡️ The name/s of the area or areas your child frequents

We will let you know by email once we have added you to the scheme 👍

Crime trends in York – Should we be concerned?

York stats (does not include the area within City walls) click to access national site

There are growing concerns in some parts of York about growing levels of anti social behaviour and vandalism

Crime stats for the City – issued by Police UK – confirm that there was a sharp increase in crime reports during March.

The national figures (which haven’t yet been updated for April) disguise neighbourhood spikes in crime levels.

The position in Foxwood has been a well publicised issue since last November. Vandalism now seems to be spreading with attacks on buildings, parked cars, bus shelters and other public service infrastructure more common. Arson in public areas has been reported.

Several thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused

Those identified as responsible are mostly teenagers although a younger age group now seems to be imitating their older peers.

So what is the cause and what can be done about it?.

Not surprisingly, people got used to a quiet life during the recent lockdown periods. The authorities weren’t prepared for the reaction that increasing freedoms brought. The problem became apparent Initially in the run up to Christmas and subsequently in the Spring when COVID restrictions were removed altogether.

Unfortunately some youths used their new freedom to commit crimes. They appear to have forgotten that there are behavioral boundaries.

There is now a lot of work for schools, the police and parents to do.

In the meantime the Council has to react to the new threat. Leisure polices should be reviewed. Clearly they are not addressing the “we’ve got nothing to do” excuse. Detached youth workers – last seen on the streets of York 10 years ago -should be reintroduced.

CCTV surveillance systems are now much cheaper to install. They should be deployed to protect individual homes and “hot spot” public areas. Escape routes such as snickets – typically used by criminals – should be temporarily closed. The Council must get back to re-letting empty properties within three weeks. It ensure that public infrastructure is robust and maintained in good condition.

Those responsible for the ASB (if they are Council tenants) should be moved on. This will require the support of local magistrates who must recognised the impact that ASB has on local communities. The Council will need to revisit its letting policies as clearly some mistakes were made during the pandemic period.

All this will require that York Council – and the Safer York Partnership to take a proactive role.

They could make a start by getting the problem on the agenda for a Council Executive meeting.

Swift action leads to five arrests in Foxwood

Swift action leads to five arrests in Foxwood

Officers have arrested five people following a disturbance at an address in the Foxwood area of York.

Police were called at just before 4pm yesterday (Tuesday 10 May 2022) to reports of youths causing problems in the street.

Several police resources were immediately sent to the area and in less than 10 minutes officers were at the scene. On arrival they were made aware of significant damage which had been caused to a property.

Five boys aged between 13 and 16 were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. They were taken to a local police station where they were interviewed about the offence.

They have since been released on police bail and enquiries are continuing.

Inspector Lee Pointon from the York outer Neighbourhood Policing team has commented on the arrests:

“The quick work from our officers yesterday has led to a positive result of five arrests. Foxwood remains a priority area and as this incident proves we will act on information that members of the public provide and where appropriate take action.

“The police understand the impact that this type of behaviour has on people’s lives and it is not acceptable. We will continue to do all we can to robustly deal with incidents of this nature so we can improve the quality of lives for the residents in the Foxwood area.”

If you have any information that could assist the investigation, please contact us by calling 101 and quoting reference number 12220079659.

If you’d rather remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police Investigation underway following disturbance on Askham Lane

Officer injured

Police have launched an investigation into an outbreak of disturbances which took place in the Foxwood area yesterday evening (Monday 25 April 2022).

A large number of youths congregated between 5.30pm and 6.45pm. Officers attended and sadly whilst dealing with the incident a PCSO was assaulted. There were also several public order offences as well as anti-social-behaviour.

The youths congregated on Askham Lane, Westfield Place and Westfield Park. Officers have now launched an investigation into the incident. This investigation involves reviewing body worn video from the officers that dealt with the incident.    

Anyone who has any information that can assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Please quote North Yorkshire Police reference number 12220069859 when passing information.

Senior Commander for York, Superintendent Mark Khan from North Yorkshire Police said: “This type of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated on the streets of York.

“I am appalled that a member of police staff was assaulted during this incident. This member of staff is now receiving support and we will be taking swift action to deal with those responsible.

“Once again, I would urge members of the local community to work with the police and pass on any information that could assist with our live investigation immediately.”

Is York safe?

Crime levels in North Yorkshire have been below  the national average for many years. The rate reflects the largely rural nature of the county. But the figures do disguise some worrying trends,

A report being discussed to tomorrow considers the work of the Safer York Partnership. Anti social behaviour is listed as a priority of the agency but this is a growing issue in some sub urban areas.

The agencies report concentrates on the City centre (where, admittedly there are significant problems with alcohol fueled crime).

The report says, “Since all restrictions lifted, there have been no direct reports to Safer York Partnership about antisocial behaviour in the city centre and police data shows that the levels of incidents has been low. It is recognised that this may be partly due to changes in people’s drinking patterns, with more people staying at home, together with some nervousness about returning to normal patterns of behaviour whilst COVID levels still remain high”.

Extract from Safer York report April 2022

There is a short section on ASB generally.

A problem solving group was set up in the Foxwood area but has so far failed to stem  the volume of problems with Vandalism (Criminal Damage)

So what has gone wrong?

Most of the blame for the increase in ASB falls on teenagers. Some children have also been drawn in with the absence of behavioural boundaries a contributor.

During the pandemic, less thought was given by the  housing department to tenancy allocations with “problem families” being concentrated in particular estates. This, coupled with inadequate support facilities and leisure opportunities for teenagers, provided a breeding ground for crime.

Incredibly, the York Council exacerbated the position at the end of last year by failing to repair and protect empty property and  street furniture. As a result the damage increased.

The Police did – to their credit – increase patrols and several of the youths were identified. But court action has been ineffective and the York Council has failed to enforce the section of the Council house tenancy agreement which requires tenants to take responsibility for the actions of  people living in the property.

An attempt has been made to clean up several problem areas while the ward committee has funded a small number of “kick about sessions over the Easter holidays”

While some long term empty properties in Foxwood have since been boarded up, the Council has failed to re-let them quickly, adding to a feeling of urban= decline.

There is now evidence that the issue is spreading to a much larger area.

The York Council must bear most of the responsibility for what is happening as it has not responded positively to requests to;

  • Relocate a small number of problem families.
  • Install a CCTV cameras in vulnerable shopping areas
  • Allow tenants to install their own domestic security systems
  • Block off – at least on a temporary bases – snickets which are used as escape routes by criminals
  • Use its highway regulation powers, to require hedge/tree owners to cut them back from streetlights to avoid leaving “dark spots”
  • Provide detached youth worker support
  • Run a programme of “distraction” activities aimed at teenagers

More police foot patrols are needed in the evening and at weekends.

These and other initiatives will require a commitment from the “Safer York Partnership” and beyond it at senior level in the Council, The Police and Crime Commissioners office and other authorities.

Consultation starts on measures to control city centre alcohol-related nuisance

Action to control anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime in central York is being consulted on by the council.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) deal with problems that spoil the quality of life in local communities and are regularly reviewed by the council and police. They agreed earlier this year to consult on a PSPO for Union Terrace car park, Union Terrace, Clarence Street and Clarence Gardens, and a PSPO for the city centre area encircled by the walls.

The consultation is to establish if residents want the orders to be introduced, where the boundaries of the areas covered should be, and to take into account any feedback regarding the details of the orders. The orders as proposed, would give police and council officers discretionary powers to require people to stop drinking in the street, and to confiscate alcohol in these public spaces if they’re behaving anti-socially. They could also allow groups of three or more people who are behaving anti-socially to be moved on. If introduced, these new proposed orders would last for up to three years with provision for extensions up to three years. They will form part of multi-agency problem-solving plans aimed at tackling all aspects of anti-social behaviour in these areas.

Tacking anti social behaviour

There has been an upsurge in vandalism in the Foxwood estate since November.

The police and local authority have been trying to address the issue both from an enforcement viewpoint and to try to put “diversionary” activities in place for the young people who are believed to be involved.

Progress has been slow with the Council (rightly) criticised for opposing plans to close, on a temporary bases, a snicket to the rear of one of the worst affected areas. Unfortunately vandalism has continued at two empty properties which are adjacent to the snicket. ..

As well as the snicket closure issue, the Director with responsibility for Council housing has been very slow to respond to requests that CCTV be installed at long term empty properties..

It is still taking several months to re-let Council houses when they become empty.

One of the Councils “scrutiny” committees is due to review this issue at its April meeting.

Empty Council houses are subject to repeated attacks

Some progress has been made elsewhere.

In order to improve illumination, the height of the hedge adjacent to the Acomb Wood Drive/Greenwood Grove snicket has been reduced. This is part of a plan to make local snickets less intimidating after dark. Work is still outstanding on the links between Spindle Close/Ashbourne Way and Walker Drive/Bradley Drive.

The obstruction to the footpath near 173/197 Askham Lane, which is not related to poor lighting, is also outstanding (as it has been for over 6 months!).

The Greenwood Grove snicket hedge has been reduced in height

Nearby, contractors, working for the Accent housing group, have been removing vandalised fencing today

Damaged fencing on Bellwood Drive
Damaged fencing in the Bellwood Drive/Spindle Close area has now been removed.

Measures to control alcohol-related nuisance and crime to be consulted on

New action to reduce anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime in the city centre has been agreed by the council and police.

Both City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police officers recommended that a consultation should start to ask residents and businesses about introducing measures to assist officers to address alcohol-related crime and nuisance in and near the city centre.

During 2021 and despite the covid restrictions in place, 1,044 incidents of anti-social behaviour inside the city walls were reported to the police.  Of them, 1,030 were alcohol-related. In 2020, 1,144 incidents were reported and in 2019, 1,464 were reported in the same area. Also in 2021, 528 incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour were reported across both the Union Terrace and Clarence Street areas. Of these, 180 were reports of anti-social behaviour and crime related to alcohol. 

The consultation will propose introducing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) for the area inside the City Walls, and for the area including Union Terrace car park, Union Terrace, Clarence Street and Clarence Gardens. The orders give police and council officers discretionary powers to require people to stop drinking in the street and to confiscate alcohol in these public spaces if they’re behaving anti-socially. They can also move on groups of three or more people who are behaving anti-socially. If introduced, these new proposed orders would last for up to three years with provision for extensions up to three years. They will form part of multi-agency problem-solving plans aimed at tackling all aspects of anti-social behaviour in these areas.

Action taken

Lots of issues reported today, some are the result of the recent gales (which are set to return over the next few hours)