A CRIME clampdown which saw patrol efforts double in Barnsley town centre over a four-day period has been hailed as a success.

Operation Barossa took place last week and resulted in 25 stop and searches, 19 people being dispersed under the town centre-wide public space protection order, six fixed penalty notices issued and four arrests for antisocial behaviour-related offences.

Sergeant Steph Coverley told a crime meeting yesterday: “It was a big hit for us and the public, as effectively it was a doubling of police officers within the town centre area.

“We worked alongside Barnsley Council’s Safer Neighbourhood Service staff, making full use of their CCTV-equipped vehicle, and focused on antisocial behaviour around Peel Square and Market Hill.”

Instances of antisocial behaviour continue to be on a downward spiral, according to the police, who recently moved some of its staff to a hub within The Glass Works redevelopment.

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A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary after a short foot chase through Peel Square by officers. The man was interviewed but later released without charge.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs outside the town centre’s Post Office, after the vehicle was seen being driven in an erratic manner. A small amount of class B drugs were also found in his possession.  

A 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and

disorderly.

A 33-year-old man was arrested after a short foot chase on suspicion of shoplifting. He was charged and remanded to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court at a later date.

A police spokesperson added: “We focused our attention on the Peel Square areas following concerns from businesses and members of the public.

“The presence of the officers resulted in a significant reduction in antisocial behaviour.

“The CCTV cameras within the town centre have recently been upgraded and are continuously monitored by skilled operators.

“These operators feed directly into our neighbourhood team officers and this real-time information enables them to respond quickly to incidents of antisocial behaviour or suspected drug dealing.

“While a few individuals displayed their unhappiness at our officers being in the town centre by spitting at their cars, the majority of people stopped to talk to officers, thanking them and sharing their appreciation.”