HIGH visibility patrols will swamp known antisocial behaviour hotspots in Barnsley from this weekend as part of a ‘dark nights’ clampdown.

The period, from the end of October to mid-November, has traditionally been one of the busiest in the year for officers and has led to South Yorkshire Police, Barnsley Council and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue working together to combat issues.

Dubbed ‘Operation Dark Nights’, it has been designed to tackle firework-related concerns with youths, arson and hotspots where antisocial behaviour has been taking place.

The operation has already seen test purchases carried out at premises thought to be selling alcohol and fireworks to underage people, while stores selling eggs and flour have also been asked to be cautious as the period approaches.

According to figures collated by police over the last three years, incidents have been reduced and the latest operation is aiming to continue the downward trend.

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A spokesman said: “Extra resources will be put in place to make sure problems don’t arise.

“This time of the year can be a lot of fun for children and young people, but it can also be distressing and intimidating for older people.”

SYFR, as part of Operation Dark Nights, have issued guidelines to remind both sellers and buyers of fireworks that it is an offence to sell them - including sparklers - to under 18s, it’s illegal to possess fireworks in a public place for under 18s and not permitted to let off fireworks past midnight on Bonfire Night.

“At this time of the year there’s the added complication of fireworks being readily available, so there’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work done between the council and the police with licensing,” a fire service spokesman added.