Joint river patrols to cut down on anti-social behaviour
Main article content
Officers in York are working with the York Rescue Boat to carry out patrols on the river.
With the warmer weather finally here, North Yorkshire Police have seen an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour in Acaster Malbis, Naburn and Clifton Ings. These reports relate to groups of young people congregating in large numbers and abusing drugs and alcohol at the side of the river.
Police have also received several reports of arson as young people have set fire to the grass on the riverbank. In one instance, the deliberate grass fire spread so quickly it became very close to moored-up boats. These boats were full of fuel and had they set alight, the fire could have spread to other vessels. This would have caused a major environmental issue in the area with fuel and contaminants spilling into the river.
Young people are also using the marina to jump into the river. Police officers and staff from the York Rescue Boat are keen to reiterate that although we have seen a spike in warm weather, open water swimming is extremely dangerous and poses a risk to life. The shock on entering cold water can be enough to kill someone alone. As well as this, strong currents in the river can also lead to experienced swimmers becoming strandard and unable to swim back to the riverbank.
(PCSO Ant McNaughton and PC Harl Pattison on river patrol)
Police are now trying a new tactic as they deploy an officer on the York Rescue Boat at times where anti-social behaviour is known to be a problem. The boat will patrol along the River Ouse between the city centre and Naburn. The officer on the boat will be working with the York Rescue Boat crew to identify any issues in the water or on the side of the river. The police officer will have a first-hand view of the river and will have radio contact with colleagues who are patrolling on the ground, they will immediately be able to guide them to any concerns or problems.
Police are urging residents to continue to report any concerns that they may have or any instances of anti-social behaviour. Members of the public should contact 101 or online at www.northyorkshire.police.uk. In an emergency use 999.
PC Harl Pattison, of the York outer Neighbourhood Policing Team commented:
“We want to make it clear that behaviour like this will not be tolerated. The Naburn and Acaster Malbis area is a fantastic part of York, and we will not allow the reckless behaviour of a few individuals to spoil the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
“The deployment of a police officer on the river boat will give us a upper hand view of any issues in the river or along the river bank. This will allow us to respond swiftly so we can deal with problems and if necessary, take action.”
Dave Horn from York Rescue Boat added:
“The York Rescue Boat team are pleased to be working alongside the police by assisting in new tactics to reduce anti-social behaviour.
“The collaborative working also allows for a multi-agency approach towards water safety, in, on and by the side of the water.
“The reception of the joint patrols so far is extremely positive, especially from boat owners.”
(York Rescue Boat team members with North Yorkshire Police)