Safety in the priority in 'night of action'

4 December 2018

Safety was the focus of a 'night of action' in Newark town centre involving police and frontline staff from Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Police officers from the Newark neighbourhood and response teams and both the police and council's licensing teams took part in the operation on Saturday, December 1.

Uniformed and plain clothes officers, working alongside a drug detection dog, conducted patrols throughout the town centre with a number of suspects stopped and searched. Three of those searches related in drugs being seized and suspects being either warned or reported for summons.

The teams also conducted visits to eight licensed premises during the course of the evening to check out conditions. Actions carried out by officers included drug testing using wipes to check out the presence of illegal substances on premises. Door staff credentials and CCTV systems were also checked.

The operation was park of the district's Cleaner, Safer, Greener campaign which is focusing on a range of issues including community safety.

District councillors Rita Crowe and Ivor Walker, who are chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the district's licensing committee, joined the operation to witness first-hand issues within the night time economy and how they are tackled. 

Councillor Crowe said: "As chairman of the council's licensing committee, it is very important that we understand the issue of the night-time economy that impact on the police, the licensing trade and the general public. Watching this exercise unfold through the evening was extremely useful. Providing a safe night-time environment for all is what we want to achieve."

Alan Batty, council environmental health and licensing business manager, said: "Joint operations such as this night of action really help all the agencies involved to understand each other's roles and develop solid partnerships that deliver the priorities of both the council and the police. It is pleasing to report that on the night officers found only minor issues with the premises inspected."

Sergeant Paul Cash, of Newark Police, said "This was a multi-agency operation to deter and tackle drug use within the pubs and bars of Newark. We are using a drugs-detection dog to enable us to focus on people who are likely to have drugs in their possession.

"By targeting drug use through this method and driving down the use within the night time economy, it can contribute to a reduction in the number of violent incidents and ensure people feel safer.

"I want to that the council for their support in this operation along with the councillors for taking the time to attend and gain an understanding of how an operation like this can work and the impact it can have."

During Sunday daytime the council's community safety joined police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service on a stall on Newark Market. Council officers handed out bike locks, purse bells, emergency number fridge magnets, bank card protectors and personal safety alarms. The fire service provided safety advice and information was handed out to help reduce unwanted mail and telephone calls as well as doorstep crime safety. There was also information on general safety and domestic abuse linked in with the White Ribbon Campaign.

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