SPIKES in antisocial behaviour which were recorded in Barnsley town centre have been reversed thanks to extra police patrols, according to enforcement teams responsible for stamping out low-level criminality.

Latest figures revealed that from October to December 2023, 76 incidents were reported in the town centre - a fall of eight per cent when compared to last year.

Council wardens work until 10pm from Monday to Thursday and until 11pm on weekends, but the police have upped patrols throughout the day due to concerns raised by shoppers and businesses, particularly around Barnsley Interchange.

Coun Wendy Cain, spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “We’ve met some difficult issues in relation to antisocial behaviour, associated with young people in and around the Barnsley Interchange during early evenings.

“Significant multi-agency attention has been given to try and address these issues, including additional patrolling hours, from the police and council.

“Individual assignments have been given to case managers, while there’s been increased outreach youth support and engagement, and support to the customer teams working in the interchange.”

Between January and September, rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour and off-road biking were the highest recorded categories under the antisocial behaviour ‘umbrella’ - with 780 and 613 records respectively.

However, despite the increased patrols helping to curtail incidents, it’s been warned that the temporary measure will not become permanent due to future financial challenges.

A report said: “The council’s Safer Communities service operating model is and has always been a flexible, responsive service, able to react to any given situation efficiently and effectively.

“Barnsley has seen a reducing rate of recorded incidents and has been able to make real and sustained differences to significant problems faced such as in the town centre and some of our most affected neighbourhoods.

“Whilst Barnsley already adopts a robust approach to enforcement, in reality there are competing local dynamics which drive a more balanced approach to what are appropriate interventions.

“These include the aim not to disproportionately criminalise children and young people, the clear requirements to demonstrate necessity, proportionality, and public interest, and the view of the courts in relation to certain measures such as injunctions.

“It should be noted that the government are seeking to publish league tables for enforcement by 2024/25, and increasing pressure to enforce is likely to be part of political campaigning leading up to the next general election.”

Last week’s Operation Duxford - which involved South Yorkshire Police and Barnsley Council - was deemed the most successful anti-crime operation yet which saw officers from both flood hotspots.

District commander Chief Superintendent Simon Wanless said: “Every day our officers work hard to protect and serve our communities.

“Last week we had our most successful Duxford to date and that is testament to officers’ efforts and commitment and staff planning behind the scenes.

“It was also a reflection of our community’s support - we are stronger with their help and the intelligence provided to us enabled the enforcement to be carried out.”