Police operation launched following anti-social behaviour spike in Letchworth
PUBLISHED: 06:57 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:50 10 December 2019
Danny Loo Photography 2017
A fresh police operation has been launched to combat a rise in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in Letchworth.
Officers first launched Operation Kinematic in March this year, in response to a rise in reports of youth criminal activity in the town centre.
Working with partners, schools and parents, groups of young offenders were identified and appeared at court charged with criminal damage, robbery, assault, thefts, and knife-related offences.
Herts police have now reported a further rise in criminal behaviour in Letchworth, following recent incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town centre and train station.
Neighbourhood Inspector James Lant said: "Unfortunately we are seeing another increase in anti-social behaviour. The railway stations in both Baldock and Letchworth are being used by a group of children and their anti-social activity is now taking place in a number of locations in Letchworth.
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"I would like to reassure residents and businesses that we are taking this issue very seriously and have measures in place to tackle the problem.
"We are also working with partner agencies to seek longer term solutions to ensure that these individuals cease their anti-social behaviour."
In recent days, officers have been conducting high-visibility patrols in problem areas and are working with British Transport Police to identify offenders using the rail network.
Three arrests have been made in relation to knife crime, and Section 35 dispersal powers have been implemented on two separate occasions. These orders allow officers to remove people from an area - it is illegal to not adhere to the order.
Officers are also exploring the use of Criminal Behaviour Orders and Community Protection Notices to prevent further offending, as well as linking more closely with parents and schools in a bid to cut the behaviour at source.
Anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour in Letchworth or has information which might help police tackle the problem, is asked to contact the Letchworth Safer Neighbourhood Team 101.