An undercover operation in which a handbag containing a purse with money was abandoned in pubs in Mansfield has underlined the safety of the town and the honesty of those enjoying a night out, crime campaigners say.
A bag was deliberately left unattended by covert police officers in three town centre premises on Saturday night and was picked up and either handed in to the DJ or bar staff at all three venuews.
On one occasion it was seen to be taken by a male who chased after a girl to enquire if the bag was hers.
When she said it did not belong to her the man concerned handed it in to staff.
Neil Williams, Mansfield South police Inspector, said: “This night of action has showed that on the whole both the businesses operating in Mansfield’s night time economy and those out to enjoy it do behave responsibly.
“It has highlighted a few issues that need to be raised with MALV and demonstrated that those who behave inappropriately are dealt with quickly and appropriately.
“Organisations work together in Mansfield on an on-going basis to take action against those who cause disruption and to raise awareness among businesses and their customers.
“This all combines to keep the town safe and to help people enjoy what it has to offer.”
This operation has been run three times since the start of December and on each occasion the bag has not been taken and has been handed in on eight occasions.
The bag exercise was part of Mansfield Partnership Against Crime’s (MPAC’s) latest night of action, and as with previous ones involved a range of agencies and elements.
Mansfield District Council (MDC) wardens, police and council licensing officers and MDC CCTV control room staff as well as police officers all took part.
Actions carried out on the night in addition to the handbag exercise included patrols of the bus and train station by police, visits to all late night refreshment houses to ensure CCTV was working, ASB hotspot patrols, issuing Section 27 directions to leave to those found to be drunk and disorderly and reporting for summons those found to be urinating in the street.
This part of the work saw Westgate patrolled and 50 to 60 youths dispersed from the area and alcohol seized from a 15-year-old and disposed of. A follow-up visit to the teenager’s parents will be carried out.
Inside licensed premises observations were made to identify anyone overtly drunk being served alcohol. Five bars were attended but no-one who was overtly drunk was served. It was noted that in some cases people who were clearly drunk were getting friends to get them drinks rather than attempt to buy them themselves.
A total of 14 licence venues were visited by the council and Police licensing teams. There were some observations on premises that raised minor concerns and these will be followed up at the next meeting of Mansfield Association of Licensed Venues (MALV), but on the whole no licence breaches were noted.