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1,900 hours of extra patrols help to combat ASB across Derbyshire

More than 1,900 extra ‘hotspot’ patrols have taken place since an unprecedented crackdown on anti-social behaviour across Derbyshire.

Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, unveiled her Derbyshire Action Against Anti-Social Behaviour Plan in July, initiating the start of proactive ‘hotspot’ policing patrols in 23 key locations of the county and city.

It came after the Commissioner secured £4.4m of extra funding from the Home Office to run two new ASB pilots linking robust and visible enforcement with a new Immediate Justice scheme to make the perpetrators of ASB pay their communities back for their wrongdoing.

Since the ‘hotspot’ patrols got underway in July, 1,899 double crewed patrols have taken place across the 23 areas – 552 in December 2023 which represents an 18 per cent increase on November 2023. Around 90 per cent of the patrols were for at least 15 minutes.

In December alone, officers made 13 arrests, conducted 25 stop searches and issued two dispersals.

The hotspot and Immediate Justice manager for Derbyshire Constabulary, Becky Clough, said: “We’re really pleased with the level of progress we’ve seen in the areas where hotspot patrols have taken place.

“Officers have been able to prevent and address anti-social behaviour before it becomes a wider issue, as well as working positively with groups meeting in the area. The figures prove just how positive an impact this has had.”

Overall, ASB was down by six per cent in the areas where hotspot policing is concentrated in November 2023 when compared to the same month in 2022. Additionally, numerous arrests have been brought, with drugs, stolen property and weapons recovered while officers are also identifying crimes from the public and recording intelligence during their patrols.

In one case, Sgt Jamie Millard and his team identified a known drug dealer supplying to a man in St Peters Street. Both men were detained after a foot chase and 20 wraps of heroin, and 15 wraps of crack cocaine were seized with a street value of £300. Further searches at the man’s address recovered several large bags of suspected mamba and 50 pills suspected to be Class A drugs alongside associated drug paraphernalia.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “So far, the roll out of targeted uniformed patrols in hotspot areas of Derbyshire and Derby City have been highly effective.  Across the board, there are numerous examples of officers dealing swiftly with ASB before it escalates and apprehending offenders – including those committing serious crimes on our streets.

“Residents remain fully supportive of the crackdown and officers have welcomed the increased engagement with local officers. This is helping to increase trust, confidence and satisfaction in policing overall.

“Three years ago, when I was elected, I said we should not tolerate ASB and nuisance behaviour on our streets. We have worked hard in Derbyshire to drive anti-social behaviour down and it has paid off with a reduction of 50% across our County. But we want to do more for our residents and we now have the backing of significant extra funding to make a difference and deliver the strong and visible response that our communities want to see and clearly it is working.

“Wherever people live in Derbyshire, they deserve to feel safe and I want to continue the hard work to make sure that they do.”

Since July, hotspot policing teams have carried out 8,992 engagements with the public, communities and businesses. A total of 70 per cent of patrols lead to some form of engagement with the public or businesses.

From January 1, the force launched a new drone and motorcycle team. These officers will be on shift at the same time as ‘hotspot policing’ patrols take place and will be available to assist when called upon.

Some of the hotspot areas have required extra officers during patrols to deal with a trend of young people committing ASB before running away from officers. Several of these individuals have now been identified and referred to the Immediate Justice Scheme.

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