Police resources were wasted over policing of the Ale Trail this weekend, two councillors claimed, as a crunch meeting is set to take place to find solutions to drunken, anti-social behaviour.
Colne Valley councillors Donna Bellamy and Nicola Turner spoke out after police sent out special patrols to keep order over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Residents have complained of anti-social behaviour as groups of drunken revellers converge on the villages of Slaithwaite and Marsden intimidating residents, shouting and screaming and urinating in public.
On Saturday all was generally quiet on the Ale Trail – and Clr Bellamy said: “I told you so!”
Police decided to send out extra patrols this weekend but Clr Bellamy said the August Bank Holiday was traditionally quiet because of other major events taking place.
On Saturday Clr Bellamy wrote on Facebook: “Just taken a trip through Slaithwaite and Marsden. All very quiet. This is why councillors don’t ask for police to patrol August Bank Holiday, as it’s normally quiet, too much going on else here, ie Leeds Festival, Manchester Pride, Creamfields Festival etc.
“Even though we had said it was a waste of resources. Better to patrol in July.”
Speaking to the Examiner on Sunday Clr Bellamy said: “For some reason the police decided to patrol on Saturday even though we told them there was no need. It’s normally quiet this weekend.
“I saw two police people on the bridge in Slaithwaite and two in Marsden.”
A meeting to discuss the way forward is to be held at Holmfirth Police Station on Wednesday and Clr Bellamy said: “The meeting will be with police, British Transport Police, licensing and the train companies and I will be asking why they were patrolling this weekend. It’s very frustrating.”
Clr Turner, meanwhile, said: “It’s a little bit frustrating though I don’t like to criticise the police. Last year the local area committee of Kirklees Council and Ossett Brewery, which runs the Riverhead pub in Marsden, funded some special door staff over the August Bank Holiday but afterwards we found they weren’t really needed. That was why I was rather surprised to find the police were patrolling the Ale Trail this weekend.”
Emma, 40, who was out with her partner and six-year-old daughter, said she was appalled by the scenes which were more reminiscent of Magaluf.