Last Wednesday, May 18, South Yorkshire Police officers and PCSOs from across the Barnsley district came together in the town centre to tackle a number of ongoing issues in the town’s central ward.
The key themes for the day - highlighted by both police and community consultation - were drug abuse, antisocial behaviour, knife crime and vulnerable vehicles.
Police dog Roscoe, whose expertise is passive drug protection, also took to the streets to support local officers.
Throughout the day, a high visibility presence was shown within the town centre and surrounding suburbs.
Officers focuses on local hotspots and reacted to ‘live time’ information from the force’s CCTV operators, which helps them to catch criminals and wrongdoers shortly after a crime is committed.
Roscoe also alerted police officers to individuals who were suspected of being in possession of controlled drugs, whilst officers in plain clothes spotted those trying to avoid or evade the force’s tactics.
More than 100 vehicles were also checked by PCSOs as they patrolled car parks and side streets as part of the police’s Vulnerable Vehicle Scheme.
The programme aims to educate the public on not leaving valuable on display in their car whilst unattended.
It wasn’t just the police force on show on the day, as Barnsley Council also teamed up under the Joining Forces initiative to provide a crime intervention and engagement stall within Peel Square.
This month’s operation was led by Temporary Sergeant Neil Crossland, part of the force’s North East Neighbourhood Police Team, who praised the work done.
“Today’s operation has been another success,” he said.
“We had 17 stop-searches for drug possession throughout the day, and within that four arrests were made for a variety of offences.
“The team covered more than five kilometres of the town centre and outskirts, targeting hotspot areas.”
Sgt Crossland said the work carried out was extended thanks to the help of the public - and wants more people to come forward with information when they have it.
“We listened to feedback that drug users had been pushed out of town centre into the fringes of the suburbs and extended our Op Sidewinder tactic into these areas as our commitment to tackle the issues that are important to our communities,” he added.
“We want our local community to engage with us and you can follow the Central Ward NPT on Twitter @BarnsCentralNPT, on Facebook @BarnsleyCentralNPT, and you can receive updates and advice via SYP Alerts.”