A new Sergeant has taken over the reins of the Safer Neighbourhood policing teams which cover Ripley, Belper and the surrounding areas.
Sgt. Mark Weldon, who has been a police officer in Derbyshire for 16 years, is now in charge of the Ripley Town Centre, Codnor, Waingroves and Langley Mill, Heanor and Loscoe and the Shipley, Smalley and Horsley Safer Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
Mark started his policing career as a response and investigation officer in the Staveley and Chesterfield areas. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2005, leading teams in the Bolsover and Ripley areas.
He said: “My priorities are currently around targeting concerns about anti-social behaviour, especially in Ripley town centre, and making sure that our communities continue to be a safe place to live, work and visit.
“My first day with the neighbourhood team in Ripley was last Friday (September 22) and I spent time walking around the town centre and on the greenway, meeting and greeting local residents and shop keepers and talking to them about any issues.
“While I do think there has been some exaggeration on social media, we are listening to the concerns of the local community, responding to incidents and working to help address the issue. There will be a police officer or PCSO assigned to patrols of the town centre every day and this weekend we have been given additional powers, through a dispersal order for the town centre, to help us target anti-social behaviour.”
The dispersal order will be in place covering Ripley town centre and the green way between 5pm on Friday, September 29 and 3am on Monday, October 2.
It gives officers additional powers to move on anyone who is taking part in nuisance or anti-social behaviour for up to 48 hours. If they refuse to comply with an order to leave they will be committing an offence and could be arrested.
Officers also have the power to disperse anyone aged 10 or older who they think may be likely to cause anti-social behaviour or commit a crime.
Young people under the age of 16 can also be taken home by officers as part of the order.
To report concerns about anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder contact Derbyshire police on 101, the non-emergency number, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
You can also follow the work of the Ripley Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team on Twitter: @RipleySNT.