March 29, 2023 4.45 pm This story is over 15 months old

Police claim big drop in Lincoln anti-social behaviour

Letters hand-delivered to parents of children involved in incidents

Just three months ago, we received between five to ten calls a day at weekends, with more throughout the week, about anti-social behaviour and criminal damage by youths in Lincoln city centre.

Some of the actions caught on CCTV were so dangerous, that it is remarkable nobody was seriously injured or worse.

Now, thanks to proactive patrols, and officers personally delivering 45 advisory letter to parents of the youths involved, reports of ASB in the city centre have dropped to a small handful a month. Here, Sergeant Rosy Elkins explains how we tackled the problem with the help of the City of Lincoln Council.

Video transcript

“Towards the end of January, beginning of February this year, we began to see an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour in the city centre. Particularly, Lucy Tower Car Park and then the Cornhill area of Lincoln.

“The reports that we were getting were of large groups of youths congregating.

“We started to get more worried as there became some dangerous situations that came to light. So, one in particular there were groups of youths who were throwing items off of Lucy Tower Car Park, so large barriers and other items they found up at the car parks and obviously if somebody was walking past at that moment it would have been a potentially life-threatening situation.

“We also had another group who were threatening towards members of our homeless community, in particular one evening there was somebody who was spat on, and again, this isn’t behaviour that is acceptable so we decided that we needed to look at what our response was going to be.

“Initially we looked at the CCTV, that we had of a lot of these incidents that were happening. We tried to send a uniformed response out with extra patrols during the times that we’d identified as being particularly bad for these groups of youths congregating.

“We added a plain-clothed contingency to the operation where a number of plain-clothed officers would go out with the support of the uniformed officers.

“On the first night of going out plain-clothed was very successful and we managed to identify the full groups that were causing issues at the Lucy Tower Car Park, and that immediately had a massive impact on the problems that we were having at Lucy Tower.

“We had two youths out of the groups that had been identified as committing criminal offences and we are looking at a prosecution through the Youth Panel.

“The larger groups that were involved in the wider ASB, we went down a route of working with the Lincoln City Council (City of Lincoln Council) and their ASB team to issue advisory letters, so each letter was taken to the home address by a member of our team and we explained to the parents exactly what they’d been involved in.

“We want them to be aware of the issues so they can help us to prevent that behaviour, so a lot of the advisory letters would ask that they don’t come into the city centre without a parent or guardian, so that in doing so, that they can make sure that their child isn’t part of this group and they can help us to combat the problem.

“We’ve been working closely with the businesses that were affected in the area, we go and speak to the management regularly, we go and speak to the staff and see how they’re feeling and there is a general consensus that everything’s much better than it was, that we’re working in the right direction.

“We work closely with Lincoln BIG (Lincoln Business Improvement Group) and with other city centre groups just to make sure that everybody feels that Lincoln city centre’s a safe place to visit, and the reports that we’re getting back is that we’re doing a good job.”

Additional text: We’ve hand-delivered 45 advisory letters to parents of identified children involved in these incidents of anti-social behaviour. We have identified people believed to be involved in two offences of criminal damage at Lucy Tower Car Park as part our investigations. We have seen a significant reduction in the number of offences and they have remained low.

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