A major new partnership operation in York to support vulnerable young people and clamp down on anti-social behaviour started in July 2015.
Throughout the summer holiday, Operation Liberate sees police joining forces with partner organisations to target areas where anti-social behaviour has been an issue in the past.
High-visibility patrols by officers, PCSOs and Special Constables assess these areas and deal with any groups of young people. The operation is aimed to keep young people themselves feeling and being safe, providing them with constructive help and support.
Where appropriate, young people are passed on to partner agencies and given the chance to discuss any issues they may have. Meanwhile, parents will be contacted by the Youth Offending Team, who will provide them with relevant support and advice, and ask them to collect their child.
Operation Liberate sees officers work closely with the Youth Offending Team, City of York Council, Lifeline, the Bridge House Sexual Assault Referral Centre, the NHS, the Rock Church, the Jack Raine Foundation and others.
Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: “While York is a very safe and welcoming city, anti-social behaviour traditionally increases with lighter nights and school holidays.
“Under Operation Liberate, poorly behaved groups of youngsters will be dealt with appropriately, such as with a dispersal order or by being taken to a place of safety and handed to partner organisations who are best placed to address their needs.
“Officers will also be particularly aware of vulnerable young people – for example, those who may be being exposed to drink or drugs, or could be victims of child sexual exploitation. These young people will be provided with appropriate support.”
Cllr Jenny Brooks, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “Operation Liberate is a welcome partnership between North Yorkshire Police, our Youth Offending Team and community youth groups and echoes similar projects run throughout England and Wales. Its aim is ensuring that young people who are perceived as being at risk are identified and follow-up actions put in place to stop problem behaviour recurring. We want everyone to enjoy the summer responsibly.”
Further advice on personal safety and crime prevention is available atwww.northyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention. Information about child sexual exploitation and contact details for partner agencies, as well as details of North Yorkshire Police’s ‘Keep it to your selfie’ campaign, can be found atwww.northyorkshire.police.uk/cse.