Crackdown on South Yorkshire yobs

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POLICE will be waging war on troublemakers on South Yorkshire’s streets tomorrow - traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for anti-social behaviour.

The Friday night before Bonfire Night is historically one of South Yorkshire Police’s busiest days of the year for reports of anti-social behaviour. Tomorrow, to highlight the scale of the demand, police will be ‘tweeting’ details of every incident reported to their call-handling centre between noon and midnight.

And police chiefs have given the go-ahead for ‘hundreds’ of officers to be involved in high visibility patrols on the streets, to deter youths from causing trouble.

Officers will also be travelling around South Yorkshire on board buses which look like regular services, ready to respond to any troublemakers they encounter.

Chief Inspector Colin McFarlane said: “We know people are concerned about teenagers hanging around on the streets in their area.

“We know young people can get up to mischief. We know anti-social behaviour can have an impact on how safe and secure people feel, and as a force we are committed to tackling it.”

Police see an annual spike in reports of anti-social behaviour over the Halloween, Mischief Night and Bonfire Night period which coincides with half term holidays, darker nights as the clocks go back and fireworks going on sale.

Chf Insp McFarlane said: “This is more than one day of action - it forms part of our Dark Nights operation over the Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night period, which we know is one of the busiest times of the year for us.”

Officers will also be overseeing test purchase operations, looking for shops selling fireworks and drink to underage children.

Search warrants will be executed in some neighbourhoods, and operations will be carried out targeting the anti-social use of scooters and motorbikes in communities where residents have complained. Police dogs will also be used to root out people using or carrying drugs on the streets.

The operation links in with education sessions police have been running in schools, and a programme of activities organised for young people including discos and sports sessions to keep youths off the streets and out of trouble.

Chf Insp McFarlane said anti-social behaviour can be ‘debilitating.’

- South Yorkshire Police will be ‘tweeting’ tomorrow the details of every incident of anti-social behaviour that is reported between noon and midnight.

- Use the Twitter hashtag #darknights12 - or log on to to see all the tweets on one dedicated webpage.

Restricted: Laws govern the sale and use of fireworks with tough penalties for contraventions including prison sentences.