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Op Mastery launched to tackle nuisance behaviour and offending in Grimsby town centre

3:21 pm, Tuesday, 19th March 2024 - 4 weeks ago


ONE woman arrested for a serious crime, nine Fixed Penalty Notices handed out for cycling and one for littering, three parking tickets issued and support for rough sleepers – all in an afternoon’s work for a new taskforce in Grimsby town centre.

To stage Op Mastery, Humberside Police officers joined forces with North East Lincolnshire Council’s Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) team, the Environmental Enforcement Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement (WISE), the Rough Sleeping Coordinator supported by Harbour Place and Navigo, and Equans’ Civil Enforcement Officers and CCTV team.

This first ‘pilot’ operation will now be carried out every month. With four-weekly monitoring carried out to target the main town centre issues, the team aims to remind people of the consequences of causing problems in the area – whilst supporting and helping rough sleers.

All Op Mastery outcomes will also be sent to town centre business owners by the 2025 Town Centre Ambassador, so they are aware of the on-going commitment to make the area a safer place.

On one afternoon last week, between 1pm and 5pm, which is a poplar time for people to visit the area, the very visible team walked the streets and actioned the following:

  • One female wanted for serious acquisitive crime (SAC) arrested. SAC is defined as a domestic burglary, personal robbery, theft from a person, and theft of and from a motor vehicle;
  • Nine Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for cycling under the Public Space Protection Orders and one for littering;
  • Three parking tickets were issued, and a number of motorists spoken to with regarding parking rules and regulations;
  • Several vulnerable female and male adults were supported by the Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator and Navigo with planned follow up visits arranged. One of those was taken to A&E via ambulance after being found by the team.

A person receives a PSPO for cycling through the town centre

Thanking all those taking part, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Stronger and Safer Communities, Cllr Ron Shepherd explained how the action was in response to issues that people have spoken about in the town centre.

And he said, whilst similar issues were experienced in other towns and cities across the country, partners in Grimsby were determined to show communities that they are committed to taking action to deter such behaviours.

“As we continue with this every month, without fail, it will be clear to those offenders that they will be found and are not welcome in our town centre streets. We hope too, that at key times in the day, people will feel more comfortable visiting our town centre or doing business there,” said Cllr Shepherd.

“It is also important that those who need help, receive it. For example, the rough sleepers that we see. This operation means that we have an expert there who can offer them support if they need and want it,” he added.

Inspector Claire Jacobs, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Grimsby West, said: “We continue to work closely with partnership agencies, as part of our ongoing work to tackle criminality and antisocial behaviour within our community.

Nine PSPOs were given out during the operation

“Taking part in days of action like this means we can speak with our local residents and find out about any concerns which they may have and show those who think it is acceptable to commit such behaviour that we will not tolerate it in our area.”

One key time logged by the team was 5pm when people are leaving work and can feel intimidated, especially if groups are hanging around. As a result, the team is building that time into its schedule. It will also look to vary times and days in response to the evidence its members collect.

The first operation coincided with new PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) warning signs going up to remind people of how they need to respect the area and its visitors. They warn people of the consequences of certain behaviours which in Grimsby town centre includes drinking alcohol, climbing on structures, or using roller blades, skateboards, and other wheeled devices, in the public areas and squares.

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