An action group launched in response to concerns Worksop town centre is dwindling believe the key to regenerating the area lies in stamping out crime in the town.
The town centre task force, which is made up of councillors, business owners and residents, has listed crime and anti-social behaviour as the primary threat to the town’s future.
Drug and alcohol abuse along with congregating yobs is the pressing issue, the group argues, deterring businesses from setting up shop and residents coming into town to enjoy shops and facilities.
Councillor Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw District Council leader, who is heading the task force, said: “Worksop residents and businesses are sick to death of problematic behaviour caused by the same cohort of people. They are creating a wholly negative perception.”
When asked if higher levels of crime were just an inevitability in towns and cities, and to be expected, Coun Greaves said: “I don’t think they are.
“The same level of crime isn’t seen in Retford, for example. I believe Worksop has a far greater problem.”
Work to tackle the issue has already begun, with the group meeting with police to press the case for more frontline officers in the area.
But Coun Greaves insisted he was not pointing the finger at the force.He said: “The police do a fantastic job with the limited resources they have.”
The group will also try to gain a better understanding of what agencies throughout Worksop are doing to help and rehabilitate “problematic individuals”.
The issue of cleanliness and appearance of buildings in the town is also high on the agenda for the group.
Members are hoping to draft up a “strategic plan and clear vision” for the future of Worksop town centre in the coming months.
Coun Greaves said: “I am wary of peoples’ negative perception of Worksop. “It’s important we begin to work together in order to create a town we can all be proud of.”
Philip Jackson, Worksop Business Forum chairman and a member of the task force, said: “Worksop needs a good shake-up. Hopefully we can begin to move forward.”
Last month police assured residents they were doing “all they can” to protect public safety in Worksop.
Inspector Neil Bellamy, who is responsible for the Bassetlaw neighbourhood policing team, said: “ We have been carrying out dedicated patrols in the town centre and have at least one neighbourhood officer and community support officers patrolling the town centre and The Canch on a regular basis.”