Calderdale Liberal Democrat councillors are pressing the council and the police to take further action to tackle anti-social behaviour local parks following a string of recent incidents.
READ MORE: Vandals deface Calderdale war memorial
Councillor James Baker (Warley), Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “There was the recent tragic instance of a young person being stabbed in Calder Holmes Park in Hebden Bridge, the War Memorial in West View Park in my own ward of Warley has been the subject of vandalism and graffiti, and now a fire has been started in that park as well.
“Figures recently released by the council show that, in terms of numbers of crimes committed, Calderdale is 18th out of the 20 Council areas it compares itself to.
“Additionally, a recent report found that West Yorkshire Police ‘required improvement’ in a number of important areas.
“This all adds up to paint a worrying picture that needs firm and concerted action to tackle it”, said Councillor Baker.
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Councillor Baker said he had placed this issue on the agenda for the next meeting of Calderdale Council at Halifax Town Hall on Wednesday, July 18 so the full council could send a clear message to the council’s Cabinet and the police that more action is needed.
“While we are keen to also send a message to the perpetrators that their actions will not be tolerated, we are well aware of the effectiveness of the Youth Service in helping to prevent these problems before they become too firmly established.
“More effective youth work needs to be part of the council’s response to these problems” said Councillor Baker.
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Councillor Baker said anti-social behaviour and crime is on the rise in Calderdale, with the most recent Key Performance Indicator showing that Calderdale is now ranked 18th out of the 20 comparative northern boroughs, and the latest PEEL Police Effectiveness report 2017 on West Yorkshire Police deemed them as requiring improvement in investigating crime and reducing re-offending.
The motion calls on the Cabinet to put in place an action plan for reducing anti-social behaviour in the borough’s parks, stepping up patrols of community wardens in parks with reports of anti-social behaviour or where war memorials have been vandalised, ensuring there is adequate detached youth work provision to engage with young people who congregate in parks at night times, instructing officers to make full use of Public Space Protection Orders in parks that are experiencing instances of anti-social behaviour, and urges them to write to the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner expressing these concerns, pressing for urgent and concerted action to be taken to address these problems.