In a joint effort to combat street-level crime and anti-social behaviour, West Yorkshire Police, alongside various partners, executed a two-week operation resulting in significant successes. The operation, conducted during the first two weeks of July, saw a series of high-visibility actions aimed at tackling various issues plaguing the towns of Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
The Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Centre Teams collaborated seamlessly with British Transport Police and other partners to address the rising concerns of anti-social behaviour in the region. During the two-week initiative, law enforcement officers conducted extensive patrols in both town centres, targeting street drinking and related anti-social activities.
In one notable instance, officers deployed a knife arch at Huddersfield Station in coordination with British Transport Police. This deployment led to the arrest of a man suspected of Class A drug offences and the possession of illegal weapons.
Furthermore, in responding to public concerns over anti-social behaviour and drug-related crimes in the St Peter’s Gardens area of Huddersfield, officers conducted repeated proactive patrols, assuring the community of their commitment to safety and security.
The operation also revealed fruitful collaborations with West Yorkshire Trading Standards, which resulted in the seizure of illegal goods worth over £10,000. This haul included an astonishing 15,000 cigarettes and 800g of hand-rolling tobacco. Additionally, the crackdown on fake perfume sellers proved to be successful, as officers seized several boxes of counterfeit perfume under the Trades Mark Act 1994.
The drive for road safety was not overlooked, as Dewsbury officers joined forces with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), and taxi licensing authorities to conduct thorough checks on 60 vehicles, of which 36 were taxis. Notably, 15% of these vehicles were reported for defects, and 14 others were issued defect rectification notices for illegal number plates. Moreover, one vehicle was seized for lacking insurance.
Sergeant Amanda Holroyd of the Kirklees Town Centre Partnership said: “Officers have been highly active in Kirklees with partner agencies over the past two weeks conducting operations to address a full spectrum of street-level crime, and the feedback we have had from residents has been very positive.
“Street drinking and related ASB can and does cause real misery to residents and it has been pleasing to see street drinking in particular has notably reduced in both town centres compared to this point in 2022.”
Inspector Liz Lockwood of Kirklees District Police, said: “Our partnership work with BTP, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and Kirklees Council licensing colleagues has also resulted in arrests, weapon seizures and significant quantities of illegal cigarettes being seized and unroadworthy cars being dealt with.
“I want to thank those agencies for their support in what has been a really busy two weeks and hope this ongoing action continues to reassure residents that we are listening and are acting on tackling the day-to-day crime which affects them.“
Cllr Carole Pattison Cabinet Member for Safer Kirklees said: “Colleagues across the council and our partner services work hard all year to combat illegal, and antisocial behaviour. However joint operations like this enable us to maximise our shared potential and make a clear statement that anyone who thinks it is ok to act in a way that could harm others, should think twice.
“Street crime is far from victimless, not only does it impact the well-being of those who witness it, it also leads to a negative view of our wonderful town centres which impacts the businesses that serve us. And illegal tobacco and unsafe taxis could put lives at risk. By working together with the public, we can make our town centres safer and more enjoyable places to travel to and spend time in.”