Saturday, 7 November 2009

Operation Bang success

Partners who joined forces to tackle anti-social behaviour over the Hallowe’en period are pleased their efforts have paid off.

South Wales Police, one of the key agencies within the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership, has recorded a 20 per cent reduction in calls relating to anti-social behaviour over the period, compared to the same time last year.

And the reduction in calls – 120 received across the RCT and Merthyr division - is attributed to a significant joint effort by those who have worked together to ensure a traditionally fun time of year is not ruined by a small minority of offenders.

Partners joined together to deliver Operation BANG (Be A Nice Guy), which was originally launched by South Wales Police but has now drives contributions from the many agencies that tackle crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

They recognised the period would be especially busy this year, due to the fact it fell during a half term and, as such, launched a working group some months ago to plan and manage the efforts of partners, including: South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council departments (including youth service, public health and protection and street care), the Youth Offending Team and CCTV.

Work included:
  • High profile patrols from South Wales Police, British Transport Police and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council enforcement and youth workers to manage potential hot spot areas and deal with offenders.
  • Significant effort from community groups, youth workers and the youth offending team to provide and advertise alternative social activities for young people to enable them to spend their time positively.
  • Education and enforcement campaigns with traders over the safe, legal and responsible storage and sale of fireworks.
  • Visits to premises by Neighbourhood Policing Teams to discourage the sale of eggs and flours to youths who could use such products for anti-social behaviour.
  • Reassurance visits to nursing homes, sheltered accommodation complexes and vulnerable residents to inform them what was happening and where they can seek reassurance and assistance.
  • CCTV installation in hot spot areas to deter offenders, reassure the public and collate information.
  • Trading Standards and Licensing activity to prevent underage alcohol sales.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Sue Hayes said: “It is pleasing to see that there was no increase in calls compared to last year – a result of targeted activity and extra patrols, particularly where there have been previous problems.

“A lot of planning goes into Operation Bang with our partner agencies who organise many diversionary activities for young people and, together, we have hopefully made the event pass smoothly for our communities.

“Unfortunately there will always be a small minority who use Hallowe’en as an excuse to cause trouble and we did have incidents, for example, of flour and egg being thrown at homes.

“We will not tolerate behaviour that causes alarm or distressed and residents can be reassured that we will take robust action against those found responsible.”

Cllr John David, Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “This is always a traditionally busy time of year for crime-fighting partners and I am so pleased we now have the commitment and arrangements in place to be able to join forces and deal with an issue together.

“So many different approaches were taken to preventing and managing the problems we traditionally face at this time of year, from patrols and installing CCTV to reassuring residents and providing alternative activities for young people.

“But they were all delivered under the umbrella of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership, once again highlighting what can be achieved when we work together – the work will continue over Bonfire Night and Christmas.”


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