POLICE are launching a crackdown on anti-social behaviour hotspots in Chester during the school holidays.
Police say that the holiday period traditionally sees an increase in youth-related and general anti-social behaviour.
In response, Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU) has designated the period until September 1 to manage the problem.
The LPU has published a document on Cheshire Police’s website outlining the aims of the operation and identifying anti-social behaviour hotspots.
These areas have been identified by police as: The Glen, The Parade, Fowler Road and Penmon Close areas of Blacon; the areas near the McDonald’s restaurants in Foregate Street and Northgate Street in Chester; the area around Grosvenor Park, The Groves, the river and St John the Baptist Church in Chester; the area near the shops on Weston Grove, Upton; St Anne’s Playing Field and Lyon Street; Westminster Park; Alexandra Park in Hoole; Lime Wood Fields in Newton; Lower Robin Hood Lane in Helsby and Castle Park in Frodsham.
The main focus of the operation will be to engage with affected communities to solve problems – but there will also be a “robust police response” to incidents.
The types of behaviour can range from low level nuisance to drinking, criminal damage and low level public order incidents.
The LPU has identified recent problems reported by police officers in the community.
In the policing area of Chester South, general youth anti-social behaviour has been reported in Queens Road Field in Vicars Cross, near Green Lane shops, and fields near Thackery Drive.
In Chester North, which includes Blacon, there have been problems with youths gathering on the play area and on communal stairways of the flats in Tomlins Terrace, youths gathering in groups at The Parade and Western Avenue, and reports of youth anti-social behaviour on the cyclepath at Saughall Road bridge.
In the city itself, there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour in Grosvenor Park, in the ruins behind St John the Baptist Church, The Groves, the suspension bridge, and near the McDonald’s in Foregate Street and the Forum.
This partnership approach will build on the success of similar operations over previous school holidays which resulted in a reduction in the numbers incidents reported to the police and Cheshire West and Chester Council’s community safety wardens.
One of the main aims of the operation will be engagement activities for young people with a particular focus on those known to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Activities will include a football cage being set up at locations throughout the area, as well as other youth service activities provided by the council and partner agencies.
At the start of the summer holidays, Cheshire Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Anti-social behaviour can have a major impact on our local communities. While the majority of people stay out of trouble, there is a small number who sometimes get involved in activities they may later regret.
“This can be a particular issue for young people at this time of year, due to boredom or peer pressure.
“Interacting with young people is a vital part of the work Local Policing Units undertake, especially in school summer holidays.”
See full story in the Chester Leader