Police in Selby say their crackdown on teenage anti-social behaviour is showing signs of success despite a number of incidents over the Easter break.
Figures for the twelve months ending on March 31st show 69 fewer reports of antisocial behaviour in town than in the year before. This represents an overall reduction of 4.9% year-on-year.
Patrols were stepped up in the town centre following a spate of anti-social behaviour, particularly in the vicinity of Selby Community Centre. Patrons of the centre had complained of disturbed meetings, verbal abuse and one disturbing incident when a fire was set in a stairwell that lead to an in-use attic room.
But incidents during the Easter school holidays, including pedestrians verbally abused and eggs car windows in the town centre, have done little to quell suggestions that a small group of unruly local youths are 'running riot' in the town.
Police had a busy evening on Monday after responding to a public order incident in Finkle Street. Several police vehicles blocked the street whilst dispersal authority was granted to officers and one youth detained.
By 8 o'clock the same evening a group were seen throwing eggs at passing vehicles from an alley way between Gowthorpe and Abbey Walk. Passers by were also reported to have received verbal abuse.
Confirming that the police were looking into the latest incidents, Inspector Michelle Falkingham, of Selby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said, “We are actively investigating and if we can identify any of the youths involved, we will take positive action against them.
She added, “I can confirm that there has been and still is specific work ongoing in Selby to tackle pockets of anti-social behaviour involving local youths at three hotspot areas in the town centre.
“The response to this has been to provide specific patrols around these locations at the relevant times, which has resulted in a number of youths involved in the anti-social behaviour being encountered by local officers and, where appropriate, dispersal notices have been issued to those involved.
“Where specific offences have been identified, arrests have been made. So far this has resulted in two arrests but other positive police action has been taken and is planned where other offences which have not justified arrests have been identified.
“All of the youths who have been identified have been visited and spoken with in company with their parents. Where appropriate they have been placed on the relevant orders and the police have engaged with Selby District Council tenancy enforcement if they are council tenants.
“Therefore I want to reassure the public and make it clear that this is a specific group against whom we are taking continuing positive action and actively monitoring. I do not agree that these youths are running riot. These are pockets of anti-social behaviour.
“I would like to reiterate that if anyone if anyone has witnessed any incidents of anti-social behaviour and have not yet called the police, then I would encourage them to do so.”
Anybody who wants to report an incident of anti-social behaviour should call Selby police on 101.