York police, the BID street rangers and council staff have joined forces to tackle rising levels of anti-social behaviour in the city centre.
The trouble includes street drinking, littering and nuisance behaviour.
Residents, businesses and tourists have been reporting problems “which are mainly caused from groups of people gathering in the city centre,” say police.
In response to a spike in reports, North Yorkshire Police has partnered with the York BID (Business Improvement District) and the City of York Council to conduct joint patrols.
Operation Vault was launched in August. A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “It is an ongoing proactive operation to ensure that groups of people are not just ‘moved on’ but a solution is found to the problem.”
Those involved in Operation Vault patrol the streets at different times. They understand the vulnerabilities of the people who are often causing the problems and engage with them directly to encourage them to work with support agencies and outreach services.
The operation has seen more 70 engagements to offer support and safeguarding. Arrests have also been made for public order offences, violence, and breaching criminal behaviour orders.
North Yorkshire Police Inspector, Sam Knott, from the York Inner policing team, said: “Where appropriate, we will take robust action to any offences but at the same time we have a duty of care and a responsibility to work with partners and protect any person that finds themselves in a vulnerable position.”
Leader of the council Claire Douglas said: “Where appropriate, we will take robust action to any offences but at the same time we have a duty of care and a responsibility to work with partners and protect any person that finds themselves in a vulnerable position.”
Carl Alsop, operations manager at York BID, added: “We’re dedicated to delivering a multi-agency response to anti-social behaviour in our much-cherished city.
“York is for everyone to enjoy, and it’s important for residents and tourists alike to enjoy the best of the city without the threat of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We’ve already received some really positive feedback from locals and business owners regarding the scheme, and we plan to continue supporting and taking action where possible.”