Mossley councillors join police beat to help tackle youth anti-social behaviour

COUNCILLORS in Mossley found out first-hand the issues that face local police by joining them on the beat.

It was part of Labour’s Cllr Taf Sharif, Stephen and Jack Homer getting to grips with what is happening in the town.

They went out on a Friday night and it was such a success the councillors next want to join bobbies on a mobile patrol so they can cover a much wider area.

Cllr Sharif said: “All three councillors regularly meet the police, but we wanted to do a patrol with them.

“It went really well. We used to have anti-social behaviour problems, notably with youths from the Ashton and Droylsden who would travel up to Mossley, meet friends and cause problems.

“I worked closely with Greater Manchester Police and British Transport Police and since BTP got involved, things have calmed down.

“There are still things to tackle, like making sure people stop hanging around the Co-op store or George Lawton Hall.

“We did that and got them into Top Mossley Park and we’ve been successful so far.”

After being elected in May, Stephen Homer was successful in persuading Tameside Council to extend the park’s opening times to 10pm throughout the summer – it used to close at 7.30pm.

Police have reported a fall in anti-social behaviour in the town during the summer compared to previous years which could possibly be due to the park being open longer.

Cllr Sharif said: “It is seen as a success story so we can use that as evidence for Tameside Council to invest in the park.

“Maybe we can install floodlights so youngsters can gather there after dark in the winter rather than on the streets.

“The park can be regarded as their space then and parents can be assured that’s where their children will be at night.”

“We asked questions about anti-social behaviour figures and they have gone down over the summer.

“We did it as a trial to see how it works. Now we can go back to Tameside Council leader Brenda Warrington and say, ‘We tried it and it’s worked. So can we get a bit of investment in that park?’

“Maybe better equipment or some facilities for skaters as there are several in the area who do it.

We’ll be fighting for it.”

After experiencing a “relatively quiet” night with the police on Friday, August 31, other than youths hanging around and chasing up banning orders on people known to the police, Cllr Sharif is up for doing it again.

She added: “I’m keen to have a good relationship with the police because of my background when I was a councillor in Luton.

“The next thing I want to do is join the police on patrol in a car as I will see a much bigger area than on foot and also you can get to incidents much quicker and people can get away from you if they see you walking towards them.

“Hopefully, I will do that in the next couple of months.”

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