Bad behaviour reduced

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anti-social behaviour, violence and damage reduced significantly in the Derbyshire Dales during a two-month campaign.

Operation Impact ran through June and July and aimed to tackle these issues through extra patrols, the use of helmet-mounted cameras and by closer working with licensees in the area.

There were 96 assaults in the Dales during this period compared to 142 in June and July last year, a reduction of 32 per cent. Criminal damage and arson reduced from 128 incidents to 61 and anti-social behaviour fell from 489 incidents to 450.

Key among the tactics used was Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, whereby people can be moved on from an area if they are causing trouble.

They will face arrest if they return.

Domestic violence posters were distributed in places such as libraries, doctor and dental surgeries, and cafes and pubs, to encourage victims to come forward.

The force was supported by several other agencies during the operation, including the community safety partnership, councils and Pubwatch.

Derbyshire Dales District Council funded the use of a drugs dog and on Saturday, July 30, an officer from South Yorkshire Police joined Safer Neighbourhood officers to patrol Matlock, Matlock Bath and Wirksworth. Eight pubs were visited, as well as local parks.

The dog indicated a 38-year-old Sheffield man as he walked along North Parade, Matlock Bath. He was searched, a small amount of cannabis was found in his pocket and he was given a warning. A 20-year-old man from Sinfin was indicated by the dog in South Parade, Matlock Bath. He was also found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis and given a warning.

Bryan Hall, Inspector for Ashbourne, Matlock and Bakewell, said: “This operation has seen a clear reduction in violence, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage across the dales area.

“Our partners, including the district council and Pub Watch, have been very supportive of the operation, which has also been welcomed by local residents.

“It’s good to see that despite passing hundreds of revellers on a busy summer’s evening, the drug dog patrol only saw two people stopped in the area. This shows that the dales is relatively drug-free and I hope local people feel reassured by this.”

Inspector Hall said it was particularly pleasing to see such a significant drop in criminal damage and arson, with 67 fewer incidents being reported to police. He added: “Nuisance behaviour can have a negative effect on communities and these figures show that additional patrols have had a real impact.”

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