Ossett anti-social behaviour: Crime at ‘an all time low’ in Ossett weeks after spike in offences
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The drop comes after police and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin promised greater resources to tackle the problem following pressure from residents and local councillors.
In August, residents were told that anti-social behaviour in Ossett was “going through the roof”.
Services were briefly disrupted when Arriva announced it would not send evening buses into Ossett bus station to protect the safety of passengers and staff.
PCSO Richard Firth told a Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting on Tuesday (September 12) how offending had dropped significantly in the past six weeks.
The officer said there had been just one reported burglary in the area, at a former school building, during that time.
He said: “There has been absolutely zero house burglaries.”
The meeting heard there had also been no robberies reported and just two offences of vehicle theft during the same period.
He added: “Crime seems to be at an all time low.”
At the previous meeting, PCSO Firth said police had been called on 20 occasions to report anti-social behaviour at the bus station.
The figure has dropped to four since then, with just one reported incident in September.
There has not been a single call to the Co-op and B&M stores about nuisance youths, which had previously been regularly targeted.
The number of calls about people climbing on scaffolding outside Ossett Town Hall has also dropped.
Explaining the reason for the low figures, the officer said his colleagues had spoken to the “ringleaders” and issued bus station banning orders to those behind the offending.
He added: “We have been asking for security on the bus station.
“For the last month or so there has been two security officers between 5pm and 10pm every night.
“Because the kids can’t come to the bus station and hang out they don’t seem to be coming to Ossett full stop.
“So all the issues everywhere else in Ossett have died off as well, which is good news.”
Ossett councillor Nick Farmer said: “To be fair to the police they have been trying to get something done for a long, long time.”
Coun Farmer said he and fellow ward councillor Tony Homewood had approached West Yorkshire Major Tracy Brabin after the last meeting.
He said they were given assurances that security staff will continue to patrol the bus station until ten new transport PCSOs are fully trained.
The officers have been recruited to deal specifically with anti-social behaviour in bus stations.
Coun Farmer said he had received an e-mail saying “Ossett is a priority.”
He added: “They have assured us that they will not take the security staff away until the ten PCSOs have been trained up.”
The meeting heard Wakefield Council is expected to begin work installing a new CCTV system in Ossett on September 19
Coun Farmer said: “The system that is in place at the moment isn’t fit for purpose.”
Residents who attended the meeting also said the drop in anti-social behaviour in the town was noticeable
The owner of a business close to the bus station said: “It’s been noticeably quieter.
“It is very reassuring so see a bigger police presence and security on the bus station.
“There has not been kids running riot all over the place and climbing on the scaffolding.
“It has generally been a much nicer place to be.”