Crime tops agenda
How to combat a spike in anti-social behaviour in Ripon was on the agenda when North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner joined the county’s Police Chief Constable in the city centre.
Commissioner Philip Allott and CC Lisa Winward were joined by Inspector Langley and PCSO Sue Whitehead in the city and heard about the work that has been going on to find a solution to the challenges expressed by some people in recent months.
During his visit Commissioner Allott was taken to the Bondgate area where there has been an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour and where a pit bike had been seized following numerous reports from members of the public and after it was seen racing on and off the roads around the area. A 17-year-old boy has been given a Section 59 warning for anti-social behaviour.
Commissioner Allott said: “It was good to meet the local policing team and hear about the issues that they face daily.
“Local PCSO Sue Whitehead drove me around the area and explained about the recent spike in anti-social behaviour with troublemakers riding unlicensed motorbikes and stealing vehicles for joy rides.
“Inspector Langley and I discussed options for providing diversionary activities for young people in the city which we can look at.”
He added that facilities for police in the city were also on the agenda during the visit.
“I also looked at the facilities for the police officers in Ripon and Chief Constable Lisa Winward and myself both agreed that some investment is needed in the building,” added the Commissioner.
City Councillor Andrew Williams told the Gazette that he hoped that the meeting would lead to an improved permanent level of policing across the city.
“I hope that it leads to some firm action,” he said.
“We clearly need to have more officers based here in Ripon.
“It was quite clear that earlier this year, when I led complaints on behalf of the city council to Julia Mulligan, his predesessor, that the increased resources put in to Ripon had a significant impact.
“And there is no doubt that extra police officers enable them to cover the city more effectively.
“I think ultimately that the force will need to recruit more officers. I don’t think it is a case of bringing them in from elsewhere.
“I think that there is a clear proven need for an increase in the number of officers in North Yorkshire.”
Coun Williams said that anti-social behaviour had been particularly bad at the start of the year.
“We still have outbreaks of anti-social behaviour in the area but much less frequent than was the case then.”
He said an aid to reducing the risk of crime was CCTV.
“We have been able to secure, on a temporary basis, a CCTV camera that has been sited in Bondgate,” added the councillor.
“That is clearly having an improved effect around Bondgate and surrounding streets are concerned.
“I think that may become in some form a permanent feature because enhancing the CCTV in the potential problem areas around the city enables the police to better target their resources.”
Recent incidents of anti-social behaviour had included the vandalism of the Grade II listed Cabmen’s Shelter in the Market Place.