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High visibility police patrols to try to tackle town centre violence

Humberside Police has pledged to remain visible and accessible and work with the community to ensure residents feel safe while enjoying a night out in Driffield after safety fears were raised in the wake of a serious assault in the town centre last month.

Investigations are continuing after a man was seriously assaulted, which resulted in him being hospitalised with a head injury, following an incident on Exchange Street shortly before 6pm on Friday 25th November.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the incident and was later released as the police continue with their enquiries.

The incident has led many to question the numbers of police in the town with some stating the rising issues of drug misuse and anti-social behaviour is making them feel unsafe.

Last week, the Wolds Weekly reported that Driffield’s three ward councillors have written to Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison asking for his comments on the attitude of police towards drugs and violence in Driffield.

Following our article, Cllr Matt Rogers challenged Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson from Humberside Police on BBC Radio Humberside about the issues facing the town and presenter David Burns opened his phone lines to people for their comments on crime and anti-social behaviour in Driffield.

The media attention promoted Chief Constable of Humberside Police Lee Freeman to tweet: “Clearly there are concerns and our job is to hear these.

“Please be assured that senior colleagues will meet with Councillor Rogers and I have asked for a review of the issues and our policing plans moving forward in light of the concerns.”

The Wolds Weekly asked Humberside Police what action they were taking to reassure residents that action would be taken to address their concerns.

In response, Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said: “Following some incidents in Driffield town centre on the weekend of 25th and 26th November, I would like to reassure residents that we will always remain visible and accessible in the community.

“In relation to the reports of the allegation of assault on Exchange Street, a man who was arrested has been released on bail, and in relation to incidents later in the night, our investigations are currently ongoing, and officers are currently exploring a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this assault.

“We understand the impact these types of incidents can have on our communities and recognise the concerns that have been raised by residents and councillors.

 “Myself, and the local neighbourhood policing team, understand the pride that Driffield residents have in their town and we will continue to do everything we can to work with them, as well as with partnering agencies, to ensure Driffield remains a great place to live and work. We already work closely with the Driffield Town Council and residents.

“Working together and in partnership will always remain at the heart of neighbourhood policing, and whilst the local team meet regularly with town councillors, a meeting directly with Cllr Rogers has been arranged to address those specific concerns raised and to inform future plans for the area.

 “Our team know the area and residents really well. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to carry out high visibility patrols and we will be engaging with the community.

“As I said last week, we have reduced anti-social behaviour incidents that have occurred, and my officers will continue to police the night-time economy in and around licensed premises and in conjunction with licensees and Pub Watch.

“If you do have any concerns, we really do value your feedback and would encourage you to speak with them as they are out and about, or via the MyCommunityAlert platform.

“I would like to offer some reassurance to those heading out this weekend that you can expect to see officers who will be on hand to assist with any night-time economy related concerns and take action when needed. We want to ensure the residents of Driffield feel safe whilst enjoying a night out.

“Our priority as a force will always be to make sure we keep people safe and tackle robustly those people who think it’s acceptable to commit any type of criminality in our area.

 “We look forward to working with residents and partners over the coming months to proactively put plans into action.”

Cllr Rogers said: “This is no criticism of our local police in Driffield and I think they are as frustrated as we are, but I just don’t feel we get the level of policing in Driffield that we should have.

“We have youths roaming around town and when we ring and need support it sometimes isn’t there.

“Last weekend we had a huge police presence and I think they are reacting rather than being proactive and if we had police more often wandering around town on a Friday or Saturday night then some of these youths might think twice.

“Are all these police still going to be around in January and February?”

● Humberside Police is continuing investigations into the assault which happened in Driffield town centre on 25th November.

A spokesperson said: “We understand incidents of this nature do cause concern to our rural communities and would reassure residents that we are doing all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“We are appealing for anyone that may have witnessed the incident or has information that would help with our enquiries to contact us on our non-emergency number 101 quoting log 393 of 25 November 2022.”

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