Week of Action Tackling Youth Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour

Friday, 2 June, 2017

Police in Halifax have teamed up with McDonalds to tackle youth nuisance and anti-social behaviour around the restaurant on Old Market.

A number of calls were being received about the behaviour of young people frequenting the Old Market area, in and around the McDonalds restaurant, specifically in the mid to late afternoon, when many had left school for the day.

The number of instances reported reduced by 25% during the week of action held between 13th to 20th May.

As part of the week of action, 20 banning letters were sent to young people identified as being involved, banning them from the restaurant for 6 months.

A further 15 young people were referred to the ASB Panel and face receiving a Community Behaviour Order which could include banning them from the whole of Halifax Town Centre.

Increased policing patrols have being supported by McDonalds, who closed the upstairs seating area, and turned off the free Wifi between certain times during the evenings to further deter non-customers from entering the premises. The team at the restaurant also increased their own security, with staff posted at the entrance using the Shop Link radio system, allowing them to work closely with other businesses across the Town Centre about those who may be in the area causing issue.

Town Centre Ward Officer Michelle Cheney said; "We all want the Town Centre to be a vibrant place for people to come, whether that be locally for shopping or for visitors from further afield. We know that people are concerned about young people around the Old Market area congregating and causing a nuisance, which often puts people off from coming in to the area.

We are taking positive action about this issue, and as we approach the next school holidays I really want parents and carers of young people to think about where their young person is going. Whether that be after school or during the evening and what they may be doing. Many may have no idea, their son or daughter is causing such distress and concern to people.

42 young people from the district will have received a letter to their parents and schools advising them of ongoing issues in the Town Centre.

It is important to stress that the action doesn't stop at the end of the week. This is a proactive approach we will be taking forward with McDonalds to embed the message to young people considering coming in the town centre to cause mischief. We want everyone to feel safe when they come in to the Town Centre, no matter what the time of day.

Sergeant Ben Doughty said; "Working in partnership with local businesses is a way for the Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team to really get to the heart of issues affecting those who work and make their living from the Town Centre. We all want Halifax, and the district of Calderdale to be a place that people want to come and visit and for the Town to be a hub of positive activity. I want people to feel reassured that we will take positive action against those committing anti-social behaviour in the Town Centre, and in conjunction with partners in the district will continue to work to reduce instances occurring.

Delaire Aldin, Business Manager of the Halifax McDonald’s said; “Here at McDonald’s we treat the comfort and safety of our customers and staff with the highest priority. We support the local police efforts to maintain Halifax as a venue for visitors to enjoy and remain happy to assist in the future.”

Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said: “We want Halifax town centre to be a safe and welcoming place for people to visit, so we’re working with our partners to help tackle anti-social behaviour in identified problem areas.
“The majority of young people will enjoy half term responsibly, but it’s important that those who are coming into town with the intention of causing mischief, understand that their actions could see them banned from areas of the town centre in future.”

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