It’s time for a new clampdown on misbehaving ale trail revellers, Colne Valley’s MP has said.
Following reports of the “worst weekend” ever last Saturday, Thelma Walker has called for the return of police or security officers to cut out anti-social behaviour by revellers in Marsden and Slaithwaite.
Dedicated officers have been drafted in to curb drunken behaviour at expected flash points in the past, but they are not routinely there.
British Transport Police is responsible for monitoring the trains and the stations but trouble on the streets further into the villages is largely going un-policed.
Last weekend, residents of Marsden said the sleepy village was more like Maguluf while one mum in Slaithwaite said it was the “worst weekend” ever as large crowds descended on the village and intimidated locals with football chanting, swearing and minor vandalism.
She called on Mrs Walker to step in.
Meanwhile, Clr Donna Bellamy, who is chairing a meeting on the issue at the Riverhead pub on Monday, said she would be investigating if Kirklees Council’s litter and environmental enforcement team, Kingdom, could be drafted in.
The private firm has the power to issue £75 on the spot fines to people who urinate in public and those caught drinking alcohol in the designated no drinking zones.
A Public Space Protection Order covering the ale trail in Marsden and Slaithwaite was made law this year.
Speaking to the Examiner, Mrs Walker said she intended to take up the issue with the authorities.
“I’m planning to meet with senior police officers, landlords and local people about how to tackle this anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“We need to look at ways to make the ale trail carry on but we need to look at how drinkers are marshalled so people aren’t feeling like they did last weekend.
“There needs to be some kind of monitoring of people’s behaviour.
“That isn’t happening at the moment and behaviour seems to have worsened recently.
“We need a discussion about whose responsibility it is, the police, the rail companies or the landlords and whether landlords should be selling alcohol to people who are clearly inebriated.
“I’m local myself and I’ve seen some of this behaviour.
“The lack of public toilets is also an issue.”
Clr Bellamy said the police had staffed the ale trail for the whole summer in 2015 but last year could only afford to do action days at expected peak points.
Last August bank holiday weekend, Ossett Brewery, owners of the Riverhead in Marsden, funded additional security to manage the influx of drinkers.