A CRACKDOWN on anti-social drug users in York city centre has seen more than a dozen people arrested.
Police teamed up with Business Improvement District (BID) Street Rangers on the two-week clampdown, dubbed Operation Fisherman, after concerns were raised by members of the public and local businesses.
Extra officers were brought in to patrol hot-spot areas.
Ten people were stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and 13 people were arrested for offences including drunk and disorderly behaviour, possession of drugs and failure to attend court.
The drugs involved included heroin, amphetamine and cannabis.
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The police have also threatened to apply for Criminal Behaviour Orders to be placed on persistent offenders, with requirements for them to attend courses to address the underlying issues behind their behaviour or drug use.
Regular patrols will continue throughout the summer.
Inspector Andy Godfrey, of York Police, said: “York is an extremely safe city in which to live, work and visit, and we are determined to keep it that way.
"We acted on information from local businesses, who reported concerns about issues linked to drug use in parts of the city centre. Officers have been targeting those areas with highly-visible, proactive patrols, and dealing robustly with any issues.
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“Since the start of this operation, we have had very positive feedback from businesses in the city centre, reporting a reduction in anti-social behaviour.
"The message is clearly getting through that anti-social behaviour and the use of illegal drugs is not acceptable in our city centre. We will also continue to work with our partners to make sure anyone that needs help is signposted to the most appropriate support.
“The York BID Street Rangers give us extra ‘eyes and ears’ to help us identify issues early, and deal with them appropriately, as well as providing reassurance and deterring anti-social behaviour in the first place, so our partnership working with them is extremely beneficial.
“Our proactive patrols will continue throughout the summer months and beyond, so I would urge anyone with concerns about any issues to contact us via 101 or SNAYorkcity@NorthYorkshire.pnn.police.uk.
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"Your calls and emails really do make a difference, as they help us to understand where the issues are, and how we can resolve them.”
Executive Director of the York BID, Andrew Lowson, said: “The Rangers’ ongoing business engagement brought particular concerns to light and we’re proud to be part of the coordinated response.
"One of the lesser-known BID roles is to lobby key agencies on behalf of the business community we serve, and this recent police operation is an example of the fantastic partnership we’ve built with North Yorkshire Police and City of York Council.
"The Rangers patrol the streets of York every day because we take anti-social behaviour involving drugs and alcohol extremely seriously and want to do our part to reduce the impact for the benefit of York’s residents and visitors.”