COUNCILLORS and police have been holding urgent talks to try to tackle crime in the Holme Valley.
Kirklees Conservative councillors Nigel Patrick, Donald Firth and Ken Sims, who all serve on the Holme Valley South Committee, are worried about rising crime and disorder in the Holmfirth area.
They say that in the past 18 months groups of young car drivers have been using Crown Bottom and Market Street in Holmfirth as racetracks.
They also have fears about vandalism, car crime, drinking and drug use in Holmfirth's Victoria Park and graffiti in the Holme Valley.
Clr Sims said that because of poor communication links with police, he and his colleagues feared their concerns were not being taken seriously.
He said that six weeks ago residents were so frustrated that councillors spoke out about people's concerns, prompting Huddersfield Chief Inspector Martin Sykes to invite all three councillors to talks.
Both sides began to sort out their differences and are now keen to work together to solve the area's problems.
Clr Sims said: "We were extremely worried at the increase of problems in the Holme Valley. We were also concerned at what we considered police inactivity, which was allowing the problems to escalate.
"Following these discussions I feel more optimistic that if the police take action and dialogue continues, these problems can start to be resolved."
Clr Patrick agreed, saying: "The face to face meeting was helpful and constructive."
Clr Firth said: "We have the same aim as the police - to make Holmfirth a safer place."
Chief Insp Sykes said crime was not out of hand in the Holme Valley and police were taking positive steps.
Two community beat officers operate in the Holme Valley and two full-time community support officers are being introduced to the area.
They will act as a reassuring uniformed presence and have some powers of detention.
Chief Insp Sykes said officers were also working with Kirklees Council's highways department to address the car racing problems at Crown Bottom.
He said no patrols had picked up serious problems such as drink and drugs in Victoria Park, but there were gatherings of youths.
He added: "Gatherings of youths are not necessarily anti-social behaviour. What else is there for them to do?"
Chief Insp Sykes said he was keen to continue working with councillors.
He added: "I wanted to meet them to give them an overview of the pressures on policing, so they could provide their constituents with a better understanding.
"I can assure people that we will continue to police the Holme Valley and put resources into the area.
"I wish to maintain dialogue with councillors. People have the support of the police."
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