MOTORING offences, youth nuisance and drug problems are all in a night’s work for PC Matt Catlow.
PC Catlow is the officer responsible for Rastrick and he asked me to join him for the evening to experience a typical Friday night.
His first concern was the number of people who weren’t aware that drinking alcohol on the streets in Calderdale was restricted. And sure enough we find a man drinking a bottle at Hipperholme crossroads. PC Catlow pulls over and speaks to the man before confiscating the alcohol.
We then make our way into PC Catlow’s patch. On our way up to Highfield Road we spot three children playing in the trees and stop to talk to them about what they had planned for the evening. They seemed quite happy to talk to PC Catlow and explained that they didn’t intend on stopping out long.
We then continued to Highfield Road to see how many youths were congregating outside the three shops, a problem area highlighted by residents. PC Catlow spots some familiar faces and calls them over to speak to them. He asks them if they intend on behaving for the night and is pleased to hear most of them say yes.
Badger Hill Cricket Club is another area often used by youths to drink. The club is in an isolated spot so PC Catlow makes sure he visits. “I was expecting people here tonight and there is not which is a result. But I don’t know if that is because of me keep coming up here or if they have found somewhere else to go. I am trying to speak to residents every time I come to keep up to date with any problems,” he said.
Another hotspot is the former Bramble Inn. The pub is closed and youngsters have been sitting on the roof and breaking windows. PC Catlow said the owner of the premises had been fantastic and bricked up the windows and doors preventing access.
It was then on to Bradley Wood Scout Camp. PC Catlow has become friends with the warden there and now includes the camp in his route in the area. “It’s nice as an old fashioned bobby to go and chat to them and say how you doing? I try to get to the outer areas as well because they can often get forgotten.”
The final stop was Birds Royd Lane where there has been problems with scrap metal thefts. “There are different types of scrap metal thieves. The ones who are the opportunists and others who take tens of thousands of pounds worth of scrap. But we are not just trying to react to the offence but gather intelligence to where they are selling it.”