KNOTTINGLEY and Pontefract had the highest number of anti-social behaviour orders in the district last month – but police chiefs say they are tackling the problem by “improving confidence” in the community.
Insp Richard Sullivan, of Pontefract and Knottingley neighbourhood policing team, said it was “no major issue” that in December the towns’ had 28 active anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) compared with 21 in central Wakefield and just one in Castleford.
He said: “Police officers do not treat this as a short fix problem, we don’t want to just tackle the symptoms of anti social behaviour we are focusing on the cause.
“I don’t perceive it to be a major issue, what we are aiming to do at the moment is improve confidence in the community and let the community see what we’re doing.”
As part of the Knottingley community partnership project launched in 2009, officers have visited schools, installed a youth shelter in Ferrybridge and worked with shops in Knottingley to stop underage drinkers.
Insp Sullivan added: “The youth shelter we installed in Ferrybridge last year has cut anti-social behaviour reports by 50 per cent.
“Shelters give them some where to go and PC Charlie Banks had secured funding of £50,000 from various businesses in the area so we can install another shelter and multi-use ball court at Knottingley High School.”
The shelter – which will include lighting and a facility which allows youngsters to play music using Bluetooth technology – will be installed for youngsters who live in the “central part of Knottingley” in 2012.
Insp Sullivan added: “Once the partnership is completed it will mean each area of the Knottingley ward will have its own ‘youth area’ and every youngster will have a facility near where they live.
“Areas of anti-social behaviour tend to be around shops, what the young people need is a place of their own where they can feel proud to go and take care of.”