PCC visits Dewsbury to see how street drinking has been successfully tackled by police and partners (17 Mar 2016)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) visited Dewsbury this week to see first-hand how local police officers and partners have tackled street drinking.

Late last year, there were reports of groups of drinkers congregating in the town centre intimidating shoppers and causing a general nuisance.

But West Yorkshire Police, in partnership with other agencies, local businesses and councillors have tackled the issue and the local Neighbourhood Policing Team invited the PCC for a walkabout to see how the work was carried out.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "It was heartening to walk around Dewsbury town centre this week and see how partnership working has contributed significantly to lessen the impact of street drinkers gathering in the town.

"This success just shows how Neighbourhood Policing remains the bedrock of community policing and is something I am committed to protecting through the recent budget I have agreed with West Yorkshire Police.

"The fact that organisations have been working with individuals to address their underlying issues and to support them in addressing their problems shows how vital community policing and partnership working is in helping keep our communities safe and feeling safe."

Sergeant Steven Hinchcliffe, of Dewsbury & Mirfield Partnership Working Area, said: "The issues associated with street drinking in Dewsbury town centre have been targeted robustly over the past 12 to 18 months. By working together with partnership agencies, we have helped to address the root causes of the problem.

"We have used, and continue to use, our powers to seize alcohol, issue dispersal orders and make arrests, where appropriate, in response to anti-social behaviour and other offences; however this represents only a short-term fix and does not deal with the underlying reasons behind the person's drinking. 

"We have carried out 'days of action' with partners from licensing and user support services, to engage with the drinkers themselves and the licenced premises that were supplying them with alcohol.

"Dewsbury & Mirfield PWA have also been working with The Base Project, a local independent self-help organisation, which offers support to people involved with alcohol and substance abuse. They have been working with street drinkers, treating them as individuals and not as a group problem, considering their unique circumstances and helping them to stop this cycle of behaviour.

"The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Police, Mark Burns-Williamson, has today visited the town centre and seen for himself the effects that partnership working and positive policing have had on this issue."

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