Incidents at drive-thrus 'draining' Wakefield police resources as officer comments on application for Castleford outlet

Anti-social behaviour at drive-thru diners across the Wakefield district is "draining" police resources, according to local officers.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:34 pm
Police say they have had to carry out a number of operations at local drive-thrus, following complaints from neighbours.

Engine revving, loud music, 'donut' manoeuvres and street racing have become commonplace at such outlets, West Yorkshire Police officer Keith Pape said.

PC Pape, who made his remarks on behalf of the force while commenting on controversial plans for a new drive-thru restaurant in Castleford, said the issue was irritating neighbours.

And he added that officers were "frustrated" by a lack of co-operation from the big businesses who operate such outlets.

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PC Pape wrote: "Drive-thru premises continue to be extremely problematic for the Wakefield district police, in respect of causing a public nuisance and anti-social behaviour, to the annoyance of local residents and other road users.

"Due to the high level of complaints received, Wakefield District Police have, on a number of occasions, (been) committed to carrying out police operations at locations involving drive-thrus, in an attempt to reduce the incidents of anti-social behaviour and Road Traffic Act offences.

The officer said this was, "Resulting in a drain on the police resources which could have been utilised elsewhere across the district."

Nearly 100 people have objected to the proposal for a new drive-thru, which would be located in Bridge Street car park in Castleford, close to Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre.

Those opposed to the idea have cited fears around the extra traffic it would generate, the loss of parking space and the potential impact on other local businesses.

The applicants have still yet to confirm who might run the premises, if it gets planning permission, having cryptically said in May they were talking to a number of potential operators.

PC Pape said that the police would not oppose the application, as long as effective CCTV was installed at the site, along with an automatic number plate recognition system.

He said that officers have, "At times, been frustrated with the lack of co-operation shown from current operators of the coffee and fast food outlets and the reluctance to engage and implement measures retrospectively, in order to help reduce the incidents."

He added: "Therefore support from West Yorkshire Police for developments of this nature will only be given if measures are implemented," at an early stage.

Local Democracy Reporting Service