Yate Shopping Centre on list of 'hotspot' areas given extra police patrols

October 27 2021
Yate Shopping Centre on list of 'hotspot' areas given extra police patrols

POLICE are making extra "high visibility" patrols in Yate as part of a scheme aimed at cutting crime and antisocial behaviour.

The area around Yate Shopping Centre is one of five places in South Gloucestershire identified by Avon and Somerset police as a "hotspot" area requiring extra attention.

The force has been using part of a £660,000 fund from the Home Office to pay for extra patrols.

Officers say that in the 72 hotspots across the constabulary area where the extra foot patrols have been carried out since June, an estimated 99 fewer violent crimes have been committed, based on past history.

Police lead for serious violence Superintendent James Raphael said: “We know that high visibility policing is what the public want from us. Providing a regular presence in locations where crime often takes place is invaluable, not only in reducing crime but also helping people to feel safe.

"It’s not always possible for us to resource this type of activity, so the extra funding from the Home Office is hugely welcome and is already making a big difference.

"We’ve had shopkeepers telling us that the anti-social behaviour and problems they have suffered outside their shops has disappeared completely.

“As well as the visible reassurance these patrols offer to the community, having officers in the right place at the right time means we have been able to break up fights before they have escalated, prevented weapons from being used and taken drugs off the streets.”

Areas prioritised for the additional patrols have been identified by looking through crime figures from the past five years and from listening to local communities.

Last month the Voice reported that Dodington Parish Council had paid for extra security patrols in Yate's Lilliput Park after complaints over "drinking, drug taking and noise" when it emerged that police would not have officers available to patrol over the August bank holiday.

Councillor Louise Harris told Yate Area Community Engagement forum that she was writing to Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford to call for more resources to be directed to policing the area in the light of the problems at the park, off Kennedy Way.

The meeting heard that a 24-hour response team of four officers based at Chipping Sodbury police had seen the area it covered increased to include parts of Bristol.

In response to Cllr Harris's comments, an Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said response teams were designed to be flexible, adding: "Should there be a major incident in Chipping Sodbury, officers would be deployed from across area borders and specialist roles as necessary to ensure the best response.

"Response areas are continually reviewed to ensure the best service to communities across our policing area.

"Neighbourhood officers work closely with the community and partners to identify issues such as anti-social behaviour and find longer-term resolutions."