Community leaders’ praise for Huthwaite initiative on crime

COMMUNITY leaders in Huthwaite say they have seen a huge drop in crime and anti-social behaviour since a major crack down was launched.

Last week, Chad reported how a dispersal order granting police extra powers to move on troublemakers had led to a 63 per cent drop in incidents since it was implemented in December last year.

Ashfield district councillor Glenys Maxwell, whose Sutton West ward includes Huthwaite, is chairman of the local Safer Neighbourhood Committee.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the help from the council and the police, especially (beat manager) Pc Paul Carter, we wouldn’t have had these last three months of peace. People definitely feel a lot better.”

Coun Ray Buttery also said there had been a drop in crime in the centre of the village - but he was concerned that troublemakers had now moved to another area.

He said: “I admit that in the town centre there are not so many cans so it has dispersed from the centre - but has it gone to the outskirts like Brierley Forest Park?

“We need these dispersal orders but where have they gone?”

Coun Buttery said that there had been a number of incidents, including a break-in at Brierley Forest Park Visitor Centre on 27th February and two attempted break-ins on 6th and 9th March.

Vandals also broke into Huthwaite Leisure Centre on 3rd February.

Since it was put in place, there have been 11 reported incidents in the 20 streets covered by the order - a drop from 30 in the previous three months.

The dispersal order is a joint initiative by Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council and comes after residents and business owners reported high numbers of people causing trouble, which included fighting, drinking and using illegal drugs.

The order means that police officers and PCSOs can move groups of two or more people from the area if they are intimidating the public or are likely to do so.

Under 16s cannot enter the dispersal order zone between 9pm and 6am unless supervised by a parent or responsible adult.

Anyone who fails to comply could be arrested and may face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000.