A city centre business has praised PCSOs after efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour have resulted in a reduction of incidents and intimidation instore and in the surrounding area.
Earlier this year, PCSOs in Sheffield were made aware of issues involving large groups of teenagers, gathering inside McDonald’s on Fargate and loitering outside the premises. Management had reported staff and customers feeling threatened by incidents of anti-social behaviour.
PCSO Clare Stafford said: “After this was flagged to us, we increased our presence, dropping in to speak to staff on a more regular basis and including the restaurant in our daily patrol routes. I was also keen to have open conversations with staff and find out about any problems they were having.
“We decided to look at different ways of dealing with the issues raised, so we helped arrange conversations between the restaurant and local schools. This led to pastoral staff visiting the store and then speaking to pupils, and their parents, about their behaviour.
“We also supported McDonald’s in issuing banning orders to certain individuals who have been identified by their schools, which has also had a positive impact.”
Craig Buck is Business Manager at McDonald’s on Fargate: “The safety and security of our people and our customers is our absolute priority, we want to ensure our restaurant remains a welcoming environment. We have a positive working relationship with the police and have attended sessions to help us understand key topics such as knife crime. We also have an open dialogue with local schools.
“The feeling in the restaurant is better for our staff and the feedback about the service we’re providing our customers is improving every day.”
Inspector John Mallows added: “This is an excellent example of partnership work taking place between McDonald’s and the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhoods Team. To the young people involved it might seem like we’re being the fun police, but what staff were reporting was concerning to us. People working in the city centre should be able to do their job without feeling uncomfortable and customers should be able to enjoy their experience.”