Revellers enjoying summer evening drinks in Wakefield district bars and beer gardens will see an increased police presence on nights out.
Wakefield Police will be increasing officer numbers in Wakefield and Pontefract centres during evening weekends from this week onwards, as part of efforts to keep residents safer this summer.
Residents will also see increased police activity linked to the night time economy such as licensing visits and taxi checks as part of the reassurance initiative.
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High visibility patrol officers, PSCO’s, Special Constables and licensing staff will all be taking part in the operation which will take place during weekend evenings and into the early hours of Sunday mornings.
Officers are focussing on Wakefield and Pontefract as they both have busy night time economies and can be hotspot areas for isolated alcohol related issues, particularly during busy night outs.
The initiative follows on from an ongoing programme of work from Wakefield Police licencing and NPT officers to improve safety in Wakefield city centre’s night time economy, through close collaboration with partners including Wakefield BID and Wakefield Council.
Initiatives have included a scheme funded by Wakefield BID in which Selected Night Marshals operating in city centre bars have been carrying SmartWater, giving them the ability to spray and ‘tag’ persons they witness involved in crime in the evening economy.
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Since its deployment door staff have noticed a reduction in offending and it is thought the solution- which has not so far been used- is having a deterrent effect.
Inspector Steve Hunter of Wakefield Distract Police, said: “Wakefield is a safe district and it remains the case that the overwhelming majority of people enjoying night outs in Wakefield and Pontefract will do so without coming across any trouble at all.
“The high summer months do typically see an increase in people using bars and beer gardens to make the most of, hopefully, good weather so we want to put these preventative resources in place to reassure residents and help keep everyone safe.”
Chief Inspector Jim Troisi of Wakefield Police said a lot of work had been ongoing with partners including pubs and clubs, Wakefield Council and Street Marshals in recent months, with the aim of supporting the night time economy while also tackling those who used alcohol as an excuse to get involved in trouble.
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He added: “We would encourage people going out on an evening in the hot weather to enjoy themselves but also to be mindful of the dangers of drinking too much and end up involved in fights or disorder which they will regret the next morning.
“There will be officers out and about and they won’t hesitate to intervene to prevent problems and stop situations escalating if they need to.”