A POLICE crackdown campaign against drugs and anti-social behaviour is extending to Lees after a successful first year in Upppermill.
‘Zero Zone’ was launched last November and centred on Uppermill, aiming to reduce drug use and drunken behaviour that has accompanied the village’s booming night trade.
Now, after a successful 12 months, the scheme was re-launched on the High Street in November to ensure locals enjoy a safe night out, especially in the run up to Christmas.
Police, local licensees, councillors, community leaders and residents gathered at the Museum car park in Uppermill to hear about the progress of the scheme.
And the scheme is now also being expanded into Lees, with all invited to a launch event on Wednesday, December 13, starting at 6.30pm at St Thomas’s Parade.
PC Lee Cullen said: “We can be quite Uppermill-centric. It is not that we do not care about the other areas, but there is just more happening in Uppermill.
“But we do not want to take our eye off the backdoor. A lot of people come into the area through Lees, and it’s another busy high street.
“So, we are going to offer the same sort of service there with regards to Zero Zone.
“We hope to have a great turnout to the launch event, and to really get the support of the local licensees and community.”
The campaign is supported by visual aids such as ‘Zero Zone’ signs and window stickers at establishments while bar staff will wear wrist bands highlighting the initiative.
Speaking at the re-launch event in Uppermill PC Cullen explained: “Last year we had quite a lot of issues with drunken behaviour and assaults in Uppermill, as a result of the busy night life.
“I can say without a doubt that Zero Zone has had a massive impact and made a huge difference to the behaviour of people in Uppermill.
“Uppermill has turned a corner now with regards to anti-social behaviour and drunkenness on the high street and it is almost eradicated.
“Our aim is to provide a safe environment for our local community and also to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate drug and ASB related incidents.”
Bringing Zero Zone to Uppermill is part of a wider campaign to be launched by Saddleworth police called SALT – Springhead and Lees Together.
Their aim is to introduce projects like Zero Zone and work with community groups, retail groups, Homewatch and the community to create a network of support.