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Nottinghamshire Police say that action is leading to a drop in anti-social behaviour across Newark

The police say that more patrols by neighbourhood officers and an extra town centre base have contributed to a drop in anti-social behaviour in Newark.

An increased police presence in the community has been a key part of the area’s neighbourhood policing team’s plans to try and prevent offending and respond to reports quicker.

The introduction of a dedicated anti-social behaviour rapid response car last summer has allowed for more patrols across a wider area to take place and to help officers attend calls within a matter of minutes.

Newark and Sherwood dedicated anti-social behaviour police car. Photo: Nottinghamshire Police.
Newark and Sherwood dedicated anti-social behaviour police car. Photo: Nottinghamshire Police.

Newark Town Council also made a space available within the town hall on Newark’s market square, which has enabled neighbourhood officers to conduct more town centre foot patrols and act as a deterrent to offenders.

As a result improvements have been made, with anti-social behaviour reports in Newark and Sherwood dropping by seven per cent between January and December 2023, compared to the year before.

There has also been a 13 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour, when comparing the financial year to date with the period between April and December 2022.

Despite seeing the new measures begin to have an impact, Inspector Charlotte Ellam, the area’s district commander, admitted that more still needed to be done to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

She said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour has been a longstanding priority for our neighbourhood policing team, because the public have told us that this is an area of criminality they want us to focus on.

“We do a huge amount of work to try and combat this issue, with our officers conducting daily patrols of Newark town centre and other hotspot areas to provide a crime deterrent and to spot offending as it happens.

“As part of this, we’ve assigned designated officers to focus on anti-social behaviour, who go out each day in the ‘Op Renegade’ car to provide a visible presence on the streets and engage with the public.

“Thanks to our partners at Newark and Sherwood District Council, our officers can also now base themselves in the market square, which means they can get out in and around the town centre more for a mixture of visible and plain clothed foot patrols.

“We also carry out regular days of action, where we utilise tactics like placing officers in plain clothes out in the community to spot and respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour and other forms of criminality as they happen.

“It is pleasing to see that this work has started to show some positive results, but we’re very aware that more still needs to be done to continue cracking down on anti-social behaviour.”

Nottinghamshire Police is focusing on community work this week as part of a neighbourhood policing week of action, which runs from January 22 to January 28.

Shoplifting is another area that has seen improvements in Newark recently, with an uptick in conviction rates since the neighbourhood policing team introduced a dedicated shop theft officer last April.

In the months that have followed, 17 per cent of reported shop thefts have led to action being taken — whether through an arrest or charge — more than three times greater than the national average.

Elsewhere, officers have also worked on multiple ‘Safer Streets’ improvement projects over the last year — along with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner — to reduce violent offending and make Newark and Sherwood safer.

Inspector Ellam added: “Everything we do as a policing team is centred on keeping people safe and ensuring anyone who jeopardises that is identified and brought before the courts.

“We do a huge amount of work to tackle different types of crime, including violence against women and girls and anti-social behaviour, which have both been policing priorities for us over the last 12 months.

“Crime prevention is a key part of this work and there have been multiple examples of us working with local partners to try and drive down crime.

“One is the Safer Streets project, which has resulted in improvements being made to help tackle violence and improve our communities as places to live, work and visit.

“We’re always looking for new ways to tackle crime in our area, and will continue to work closely with our partners, like Newark and Sherwood District Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to see how we can explore these different ideas.”

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