Wakefield Council has partnered with West Yorkshire Police to establish a new hub in Castleford’s town centre, aimed at addressing the issue of anti-social behaviour. Known as Unit 7, this facility is conveniently located within the indoor market, offering residents and business owners an accessible space to engage with police officers or police community support officers for reporting crimes or seeking advice.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, expressed the council’s commitment to working in conjunction with their partners to effectively combat and prevent anti-social behaviour within their district. Recognising the importance of a collaborative approach, Jeffery emphasised that the council would leverage their existing powers and resources to complement the efforts of West Yorkshire Police and tackle these pressing issues head-on.

Jeffery further emphasised the necessity of ensuring that residents and visitors can enjoy the town’s high streets and public spaces without being subjected to disruptive or unacceptable behaviour. The establishment of a dedicated space within Castleford market is aimed at instilling a sense of reassurance among the community, offering a platform where incidents can be reported to an officer, and individuals can seek the necessary help and advice they require.

Inspector Andrew Dickinson acknowledged the need for a point of contact in the town centre, following discussions with business owners and members of the public. The objective was to create a space where police and their partners could offer support and guidance on a wide range of topics. As part of their day shifts and regular patrols in the town centre, a designated police constable (PC) and police community support officer (PCSO) will be available at the hub to provide assistance.

Inspector Dickinson emphasised that individuals visiting the town centre should feel safe and be able to do so without the fear of anti-social behaviour or crime. The Castleford NPT (Neighborhood Policing Team) is actively working on Operation Meritburg, a concerted effort to address these concerns. Already, the team has made several arrests and referrals related to anti-social behaviour. Inspector Dickinson encouraged the public to engage with the officers, whether to raise concerns, seek advice, or simply have a friendly conversation.

The collaborative efforts of Wakefield Council and West Yorkshire Police in establishing the new town centre hub demonstrate a proactive approach to addressing anti-social behaviour. By providing a dedicated space for residents and business owners to engage with the police, it is hoped that the initiative will foster a safer and more secure environment for everyone in Castleford.