Yesterday (Wednesday 6 July) saw South Yorkshire Police officers and staff unite with key partner agencies for a day of enforcement and community engagement across the Barnsley district.
Operation Duxford is where we bolster our existing district resources with specialist teams from across the force for a dedicated day of action. It is designed to create a day of heightened activity and enhance the work already under way to address concerns raised by local residents.
Teams from SYP, Barnsley Council – under the Joining Forces initiative, Environment Agency, British Transport Police, and other partner organisations came together to tackle the issues that matter to the people living and working in the district, as well as listening to their concerns to help shape future police actions.
Officers made 10 arrests throughout the day, including for possession with the intent to supply both Class A and Class B drugs, taking a motor vehicle without consent, assault of an emergency worker, burglary and failure to attend court dates.
The day of action began with Barnsley’s District Commander Chief Superintendent James Abdy addressing officers at the district’s HQ on Churchfield near the town centre. It was a smaller briefing than normal, with many of those involved in Op Duxford having already taken to their vehicles to execute warrants across the town.
Officers taking part yesterday had come together from Barnsley’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Barnsley’s Response units, specially trained police dogs and their handlers, Roads Policing Group, Intelligence, the Mounted Unit and other areas.
One key arrest was that of a 22-year-old man from Barnsley for failing to stop when challenged by officers. His vehicle eventually came to a stop on Pinfield Close and he was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop and possession of an offensive weapon after officers pursued him through some hedges and he was located hiding behind a car. He remains in police custody at this time as enquiries continue.
As well as the 10 arrests, the day’s enforcement also included: dozens of vehicles being stopped for checks; more than 100 cannabis plants being seized; 18 people being stopped and searched; knives and other weapons being taken off of the streets; seven vehicles seized for having no insurance under Op Takeaway; a full closure notice and closure warning notices being served on problematic properties for anti-social behaviour issues; and six scrap yards being visited with partners for stolen property checks.
But as mentioned, equally important in Op Duxford is the engagement aspect of the day.
More than 2,100 members of the public were spoken to throughout the day regarding the issues they see as important to them, largely thanks to six pop-up police stations behind held across the borough. Five child sexual exploitation safeguarding patrols were carried out, as were two anti-social behaviour patrols, five fly-tipping patrols, rough sleeper safeguarding patrol checks and a street drinkers impact patrol. Some 34 people were signed up to receive Smart Water kits through Op Shield and six litter picks were held at hotspots across the district too and there was also a walkabout with the Mayor of Barnsley Councillor Sarah-Jane Tattersall to discuss anti-social behaviour issues in communities.
Inspector Tony Lee, Silver Commander for yesterday’s operation, said: “The day was a success and we were delighted with the positive results our officers were achieving when out and about executing their warrants or other tasking.
"I would like to thank all those people who took the time to speak to our officers yesterday. If you still have concerns over crime, I would continue to urge you to report your concerns either via 101, to your local neighbourhood team or anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
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