SAFETY is being stepped up in Mirfield following the tragic death of a popular footballer.
Police patrols in the town have been increased since the killing of 22-year-old Ross Wood.
Other safety measures, including new CCTV cameras and a new scheme which will see volunteers walking the streets at night to look after young people, could be introduced.
The bid to improve safety in the town comes after concerns about yobbish behaviour were raised following the death of Ross two weeks ago.
The footballer, who played for Mirfield Town and Horbury Town, died in hospital from head injuries after being attacked on Huddersfield Road early one morning.
A 15-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with manslaughter and a youth of 18 has been charged with affray.
After Ross’s death concerns were raised about safety on the town. Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik said members of the public were particularly worried about yobbish behaviour in the town and the lack of CCTV equipment.
And this week police, councillors and representatives from other groups covering Mirfield gathered for an ‘impact meeting’, which are organised following any major incident in Kirklees.
At the meeting the effect of Ross’s death on the community and the community’s safety concerns were looked at.
Schemes which could help prevent a tragedy such as Ross’s death from happening again were discussed.
A number of safety measures could now be introduced in Mirfield, including street angels, volunteers who go out at night in town centres and look out for vulnerable young people to keep them safe.
The angels, which have proved successful in other towns throughout the UK, including Huddersfield, wear high-visibility jackets and keep in contact with door staff, nightclub owners, the police and fast food van owners.
Other options discussed at the meeting included more work with licensees to help keep pub and club goers safe, looking closely at the role of community workers who liaise with adults and young people and reviewing the situation across the town regarding anti-social behaviour and powers to evict nuisance tenants.
Clr Khizar Iqbal, chairman of the Kirklees Safer Stronger Communities Partnership, said it was important to hold the meeting, both to reassure the community and to build on existing work to continue improving safety.
He added: “This was a tragic incident and we would like to extend our sympathy to the family and friends of Ross Wood. The community has shown courage and strength at a difficult time.
“We want to reassure Mirfield residents that we are all committed to continuing our improvements in safety for the town.”
Chief Supt Barry South, divisional commander for Kirklees, was also at the meeting.
He said: “Our thoughts are with Ross’s family at this difficult time and people in Mirfield are understandably shocked and saddened.
“But we would like to stress that incidents like this are very rare and we are working closely with our partners to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”