Police have announced a crackdown on street drinking and anti-social behaviour in York.

North Yorkshire Police say visitors, residents and business have contacted the force about several issues caused mainly by groups of people gathering in the city centre.

According to the force, the key issues are people drinking alcohol in public, littering and nuisance behaviour.

To address this recent spike, North Yorkshire Police has partnered with the York Bid and City of York Council to conduct joint patrols.

In August, Operation Vault was launched by the force working with York Bid and the council. Police say it is an ongoing proactive operation to ensure that groups of people are not just ‘moved on’ but a solution is found to the problem.

York Press: Operation Vault was launched by the force working with York Bid and City of York CouncilOperation Vault was launched by the force working with York Bid and City of York Council (Image: NYP)

The officers and staff that work on Operation Vault patrol the streets at different times and on different days.

A force spokesperson said they understand the vulnerabilities of the people who are often causing the problems and engage with them directly to encourage them to work with support agencies and outreach services.

They explained how the operation has already seen significant success, including over 70 engagements to offer support and safeguarding. Arrests have also been made for public order offences, violence, and breaching criminal behaviour orders.

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North Yorkshire Police Inspector Sam Knott, from the York Inner policing team, said the operation aims to ensure that people continue to enjoy the city centre without “witnessing pockets of anti-social behaviour”. 

“Where appropriate, we will take robust action to any offences but at the same time we have a duty of care and a responsibility to work with partners and protect any person that finds themselves in a vulnerable position,” he said.

Cllr Claire Douglas, leader of City of York Council, said: “We welcome all who respect our city centre as well as those who live and work in and visit it. With our partners and as part of the city’s Purple Flag accreditation, we work hard to protect and support them all.

York Press: Cllr Claire Douglas, leader of City of York CouncilCllr Claire Douglas, leader of City of York Council (Image: Supplied)

“This proactive initiative is welcome as it re-enforces the positive behaviours we expect in York, offers support to those who need it and takes appropriate action when needed. As a result, people who work and live in central York can be more confident of a good experience in our beautiful city centre.”

Carl Alsop, operations manager at York BID, added: "We're dedicated to delivering a multi-agency response to anti-social behaviour in our much-cherished city.

“York is for everyone to enjoy, and it’s important for residents and tourists alike to enjoy the best of the city without the threat of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve already received some really positive feedback from locals and business owners regarding the scheme, and we plan to continue supporting and taking action where possible."