The town centre of Castleford has witnessed a nearly 90 per cent decrease in recorded crime since the beginning of the year.

In January, there were 79 reported offences in the town centre, which dwindled to 17 last month.

During January, there were 43 cases of shoplifting reported in Castleford, while only nine were reported in August. Similarly, there were 11 incidents of criminal damage and eight business burglaries in January, compared to two and three respectively in August.

There has also been a decline in instances of anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Sergeant Matt Jaworski, who is lead sergeant for Castleford, said: “I hope that the steady reductions that we have seen in crime and anti-social behaviour since the start of the year are reassuring to those living and working in Castleford.

“We know that crime and anti-social behaviour are a real concern for local businesses and that offences such as shoplifting and burglary can have a significant impact on people’s livelihoods.

“We are not complacent and are determined to continue this downward trend in crime in the town.”

Last week, there were two days of action involving partners and specialist police teams in the town.

On Tuesday, officers from the neighbourhood policing team worked in partnership on patrol with officers from Wakefield Council’s Licensing department for a day of action around taxi licensing. Ten taxis were stopped, with three of the drivers immediately suspended due to issues including the cleanliness of the vehicle, meter interference and meter not displayed as legally required. Three were also issued with repair notices due to unreported accident damage found.

Officers from Castleford NPT also acted on community intelligence and arrested a male on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and going equipped for theft. The male has been released on bail with conditions excluding him from an area of Castleford.

Then on Thursday, neighbourhood officers were joined by colleagues from the Proactive Intercept Team (PIT) and Roads Policing Unit in a roads policing day of action, targeting the fatal five offences and disrupting road crime.

One significant proactive stop of a vehicle resulted in the driver being arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs as a number of wraps, suspected to be cocaine and heroin, were located on the driver. He was also arrested for driving whilst disqualified, and his vehicle was seized. Following a search of his home address, five further vehicles were seized, along with a number of motorcycle parts, all of which were suspected to be stolen property. This male was consequentially further arrested for burglary and theft offences. He is on bail whilst enquiries are ongoing.

Another vehicle was also recovered in the afternoon in Airedale which was suspected to be stolen. Following a report of a vehicle being abandoned in the Airedale area with people running away from it, PIT officers working on the operation attended and it was identified the vehicle had been stolen in a burglary in the early hours of that morning in Knottingley. It was forensically recovered, and enquiries remain ongoing.

“The operations that we have carried out last week give an example of the work we are doing alongside our partners to keep our communities safe.

“There is also less visible work that is going on behind the scenes. We have worked with Wakefield Council to secure Criminal Behaviour Orders against a number of individuals who have caused significant issues in Castleford town centre. These orders make it clear that if they continue this behaviour they can be jailed.

“I would urge anyone with concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour to talk to the Neighbourhood Policing Team or report it online or via 101,” Sgt Jaworski added.