Crackdown on town’s estate

WDH materials controller Dean Pickard, WDH community safety officer Richard Markey, PC Suzanne Day and WDH estate officer Jade Brownley.

WDH materials controller Dean Pickard, WDH community safety officer Richard Markey, PC Suzanne Day and WDH estate officer Jade Brownley.

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POLICE are cracking down on anti-social behaviour in Featherstone after thieves swiped potentially dangerous gas pipes.

Sgt Andy Loftus of the town’s neighbourhood policing team (NPT) said piping was stolen from a construction site in Verner Street last month which could have caused serious damage had it been connected to the gas supply.

Officers blitzed the Girnhill Lane estate last week following the theft and complaints of local youths verbally abusing workers modernising the estate’s gas supply.

Sgt Loftus said: “We had an issue of youths verbally abusing construction workers on site and there was one theft of a gas pipe which wasn’t live.

“There is a concern however that if attempts are made when the pipes are live, then it could be a serious issue.

“The day of action was to speak to residents on the estate, explain the works and to get more information because this behaviour is unacceptable.”

Community Energy Solitions (CES) announced last month they had joined forces with Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), Wakefield Council and Northern Gas Networks to bring affordable heating to around 60 houses in Verner Street.

The properties – which were previously without a mains gas supply – were to be fitted with a full gas central heating system for the first time after Northern Gas Networks and CES spent £100,000 extending the gas pipeline to the properties.

But following the theft and reports of anti-social behaviour, the NPT took to the streets with officers from WDH and the council to gain insight into problems in the area.

Richard Markey, community safety officer at WDH, said: “Engaging with the community on subjects which are important to them such as anti-social behaviour means we can better understand the problems residents face and can work with them to tackle these issues.”

As part of the day of action residents were given a survey to hear their opinions on anti-social behaviour on the estate and a letter explaining the gas works.

The NPT confirmed there had been no thefts since the estate blitz but if anyone has any information about the pipe theft or witnesses anti-social behaviour at the site, contact Sgt Loftus on 101.