New initiative sees patrols tackling predatory behaviour in Doncaster

Date published: 25 May 2023 15:32
Dated: 25 May 2023 16:11:05

A new operation that sees officers taking a proactive approach to seeking out and preventing predatory behaviour has launched in Doncaster.

During busy weekend evenings, officers in plain clothes are deployed in key areas of the city centre to identify potential predatory behaviour and protect vulnerable people.

Inspector Adam Wood, who is leading the activity, said: “These patrols are a different way of doing things, with a focus on observing behaviour and intervening before incidents occur.

“Officers who are policing the city centre on busy weekend evenings can look out for those key behaviours and proactively target individuals who may be planning to take advantage of vulnerable people. This can be anything from listening out for unwanted contact or people making lewd or sexual remarks, to individuals harassing or following people or even becoming aggressive.

“The officers can then circulate this information to nearby uniformed colleagues who can then engage with those identified and take the required action.

“The ultimate aim is to make Doncaster city centre a safer place for everyone; reducing the fear of crime, promoting a safe environment for people to go out, and supporting local businesses.”

Officers carried out the first of these patrols on Friday 12 and Friday 19 May.

On Friday 12 May, while deployed on the operation, a 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug driving, possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, and taking a vehicle without consent. He has been bailed for further enquiries. Officers also helped a woman and her friend who were being followed by a man get safely to a taxi. He was stopped, checked and moved from the area.

On Friday 19 May a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after it is reported he attempted to kiss and grope two women. He has since been released on police bail while enquiries continue.

That same evening officers also used dispersal powers against a man who had been following and harassing two women on their way home, as well as safely escorting a number of women to taxis.

Police officers have engaged with a number of men and women, and local businesses during the activity, to promote a safe and enjoyable night out in Doncaster.

Insp Wood added: “We want everyone to be able to go out and enjoy themselves safely. As well as looking to identify those who may be showing predatory behaviour, this operation is also about identifying those who may be displaying as vulnerable and providing them with support.

“It was great to engage with so many people over these two evenings and these kinds of patrols will be a feature in Doncaster throughout the summer.

“To those who are tempted to engage in predatory behaviour, the message is simple, we are on watch, and we will find you.”

Two uniformed officers stood next to a parked police van on a dark street, facing away from the camera looking down a busy street

Uniformed officers on Silver Street in Doncaster

Two officers in plain clothes with their backs to the camera walking through a door to leave the police station

Officers in plain clothes ready to deploy in the city centre

Uniformed officers getting into a police van on a Friday night

Uniformed officers deploy on new operation

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