Spotlight on crime and anti-social behaviour in Harrogate

A new project to make Harrogate town centre even safer has anti-social behaviour, street crime and retail theft in its sights.

Project Spotlight is a joint initiative led by ourselves and North Yorkshire Police.

The project sees teams working with residents, shoppers, town-centre workers and businesses to:

  • Gather ongoing information about crime and anti-social behaviour and use it to target police and local authority resources at key times and key locations.
  • Reduce thefts, anti-social behaviour and other crimes during both the daytime and night-time by working on initiatives with retailers and licensed premises.
  • Prevent begging and rough sleeping by ensuring vulnerable people have access to the services they need and are being encouraged to use them.
  • Make sure residents, town-centre visitors, workers and businesses feel safe with high-visibility patrols and targeted deployments.
  • Reduce drink and drug-related crime by working with specialist teams, licensed premises and support services.
  • ‘Design out crime’ by making changes to the town centre environment.
  • Keep the public informed about the project and its progress, encouraging them to keep sharing information about any town centre issues affecting them.

Project Spotlight builds on existing work between North Yorkshire Police, ourselves and other organisations which have been working together to address street crime, retail theft, begging, rough sleeping, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour.

In a sample of 140 patrols of the town centre since October 2023, police made 10 arrests and moved people on or gave words of advice 54 times. Officers also issued one dispersal order, which effectively bans someone from an area for a certain amount of time.

Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Nicola Colbourne, said: “Project Spotlight sees us stepping up that positive work we’ve already done with partner organisations, the public and town-centre businesses.

“We’re using a good old-fashioned mix of community engagement, information-gathering, targeted policing and robust law enforcement during this project, which we’re delivering alongside policing Harrogate’s wider residential areas.

“Harrogate is already an incredibly safe town, in what is officially England’s safest county. With the help of the public, businesses and key organisations, we’re working hard to make it even safer.”

Operation Spotlight - four people talking in the centre of Harrogate

Our assistant chief executive for local engagement, Rachel Joyce, said: “Alongside North Yorkshire Police and others, we have been working hard to maintain Harrogate town centre’s reputation as a safe and welcoming place in which to visit and work.

“Operation Spotlight presents an opportunity for all concerned to come together and build on this work. To do this we need the co-operation of the public and the business community and I would encourage everyone to support us in this aim.”

Anyone who has information about crime or anti-social behaviour can report it to North Yorkshire Police by visiting the force’s website and selecting the ‘Report’ option.

You can also call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you see a crime being committed, please dial 999 immediately.