Police have issued assurances about their determination to crack down on antisocial behaviour which is continuing to plague a community.
North Yorkshire Police said the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in place in Colburn since February has enabled officers to tackle incidents on numerous occasions.
The force was responding to claims made in a meeting of Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board, where councillors questioned whether there were sufficient officers available to deal with the incidents.
In the nine months before the order was created, there were more than 200 reports of antisocial behaviour in the Broadway shops area, affecting the library, business park and residents.
The PSPO has given police and council officers the power to move groups on, issue fines and prevent some activities, such as drinking alcohol.
Members told the meeting residents were confused as to who they should be reporting incidents and the PSPO had been undermined by police not always responding immediately to reports.
Colburn councillor Angie Dale said: “When you phone the police and antisocial behaviour is occurring there isn’t officers on the ground to go and deal with issues. The message that is out there is very mixed.
“It’s all right putting something in place, but if it’s then not being actioned it’s pointless. The PSPO needs looking at with regards to the police.”
Mayor of Colburn, Councillor Helen Grant added: “The police won’t deal with it because they say the PSPO belongs to the council. We have had massive rows about this, even the inspector. They say people wanting to report issues need to ring the district council, but how can you ring the council at 12.45am? It’s a mess.”
Council officers told the meeting police had advised they were responding to out of hours incidents and gathered evidence the following day to serve fixed penalty notices.
Officers said there very clear processes had been established between the council and the police.
Councillors agreed for the authority’s scrutiny committee to examine how the PSPO was being enforced.
Following the meeting, Inspector Mark Gee said: “The local Neighbourhood Policing Team is dedicated to tackling local issues in the Colburn area and we encourage members of the public to report any incidents to us.
“I would like to reassure the local community that although there may be times when there is no visible resource, we make every effort to deal with all incidents as quickly and effectively as possible.
“Please report any incidents to the police on 101, or contact the local policing team. You can find the details on the North Yorkshire Police website under the Your Neighbourhood section.
“If someone is in immediate danger then always call 999”.