Disorderly drinkers have been warned they are in the last chance saloon in Wakefield and Pontefract following an upsurge in arrests as part of an operation.
Wakefield Police has said it plans to continue with an operation to maintain enhanced policing Wakefield and Pontefract during Saturday nights and Sunday mornings following a drop in crime reports.
Over the past eight weeks officers have recorded an eight per cent decrease in crime and have also made 73 per cent more arrests according to the latest data.
Operation Mornstoke launched in July with the aim of increasing policing presences at key times and also improving partnership working with other agencies.
High visibility patrol officers, PSCO’s, Special Constables and licensing staff have all been taking part in the operations which have run on weekend evenings and into the early hours of Sunday mornings over the past few weeks.
Officers have focussed on Wakefield and Pontefract in particular as they both have busy night time economies and can be hotspot areas for isolated alcohol related issues, particularly during busy night outs.
As a result of a beefed up presence and work with partners, officers have been able to clamp down on and de-escalate issues before they have become unresolvable and also deter possible offences.
At times, police have also issued dispersal notices to persons to ‘order’ them out of an area with a warning that they will be arrested if they return.
The operation follows on from an ongoing programme of work from Wakefield Police licencing and NPT officers to improve safety in Wakefield city centre’s night time economy, through close collaboration with partners including Wakefield BID and Wakefield Council.
Initiatives have included a scheme funded by Wakefield BID in which Selected Night Marshals operating in city centre bars have been carrying SmartWater, giving them the ability to spray and ‘tag’ persons they witness involved in crime, in the evening economy.
Chief Inspector Inspector Chris Norbury of Wakefield District Police, said: “We have been running the summer night time economy operation for eight weeks now and the reaction we've had from residents has been very positive indeed.
“We have had good feedback from publicans and persons out enjoying the night time economy who have appreciated seeing the extra officers on patrol.
“The decrease in crime reports is good news all round as it points to a safer city and town centres overall.
“While officers have been able to deescalate tension through use of police tactics such as dispersal notices, the increase in arrests highlights that we will not hesitate to arrest those who fail to abide by warnings and engage in violent or anti-social behaviour.”
He added: “We will be continuing the operation and continue to encourage people going out on an evening in to enjoy themselves but to do so safely and not risk waking up to a hangover from the inside of a police cell. We are determined to do our part to help create vibrant city and town centres which remain safe places for all to enjoy.”