A Barnsley PCSO committed to tackling issues affecting the local community has seen antisocial behaviour fall after joining forces with partner agencies to implement a problem solving approach.
Earlier this year, Royston based PCSO Jonathan Bentley and his colleagues were made aware of an increase of antisocial behaviour in Lundwood, and in particular fires being caused in a rural area.
With the particular area in question designated as a site of scientific interest, PCSO Bentley set about doing something to tackle the issue.
Working alongside the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, local authority and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, PCSO Bentley and colleagues looked at not only what measures they could implement to tackle the problem, but educational opportunities, too.
“The fires were not only dangerous but also harmful to the environment and posed a risk to wildlife in the area, which is why it was key that we worked with partner agencies to tackle it,” explains PCSO Bentley.
“We began by working with the Lundwood community and local businesses, in order to reduce opportunities for people to start fires, by organising community clean-ups and improving business waste management policies.
“Alongside officers from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, we also went into local schools to give educational talks to pupils, talking about the risk of fires as well as all kinds of antisocial behaviour.
“The response we received from members of the community, parents and pupils was fantastic and they were all really supportive of the work we were doing.”
Throughout their work, PCSOs did identify nine youngsters who were involved in antisocial behaviour relating to the fires and all nine were subsequently issued with antisocial behaviour warnings.
Officers have since seen a dramatic reduction in the number of fires in the area, with PCSO Bentley also being awarded a good work minute by Superintendent Sarah Poolman for his problem solving approach.
PCSO Bentley continued: “Through partnership working I’m pleased we have successfully been able to tackle antisocial behaviour in the area.
“Of course, our work to tackle the issues that matter most to the local community continue and we’ve still got litter-picks underway and signs have been placed at locations throughout Lundwood, ahead of CCTV being installed.
“I’d always encourage anyone with concerns to get in touch with us, either via 101 or come and speak to us when we’re out and about.”
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