Police base at park pavilion

Sgt Ian Hardy, Geoffrey Sutcliffe, Rod Mellor, Dave Draycott and PCSO Kelly Lodge at the Crow Wood Park Pavillion

Sgt Ian Hardy, Geoffrey Sutcliffe, Rod Mellor, Dave Draycott and PCSO Kelly Lodge at the Crow Wood Park Pavillion

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Police officers are now operating out of the pavilion at Crow Wood Park, Sowerby Bridge.

The move is seen has having a double advantage in that it will bring officers closer to the local community and help stamp out sporadic anti-social behaviour.

“Pavilion in the Park” was founded 11 years ago and includes a youth club and the committee recently offered the premises for police use also.

Volunteer Rod Mellor said: “I wanted officers to use the pavilion as a tea-room, night and day, and a place where they could swap shifts,” he said.

“It will help police interact with the community and kids’ will get used to seeing them around.”

Youths have a range of activities in the pavilion and in he park and will now be mingling with police officers regularly.

Over the years there have been problems in the park - often caused by youths and young adults not connected to the youth club - and this has included partying late at night which resulted in complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Mr Mellor said such incidents in the future are unlikely given the regular police presence.

Coun Dave Draycott (Lab, Sowerby Bridge) said residents’ had been raising issues of concerns fairly regularly.

“People locally are going to be happy there will be a police presence in the park,” he said.

“Since being elected in 2011 issues have come up fairly regularly.

“The police have responded but this will improve the situation no end.”

Insp Colin Skeath stressed the move wasn’t linked to what might happen with Sowerby Bridge Police Station which is one of several earmarked for closure to help meet Government spending cuts.

“It’s a key site which will help officers integrate into the community. It’s not a police station but a place where local officers will work with the community - a place to write up notes and speak to people as you don’t always want to do that at a police station.”

Insp Skeath praised the efforts of Mr Mellor and his team for providing activities for young people in the area.

“The work done there is first class,” he said.