MCDONALD’S were able to stop youths from gathering in the town centre earlier this year by playing classical music.

The fast food chain, located on High Street, Bracknell, and the council worked together to halt the problem, which had become an issue since the opening of The Lexicon shopping centre in September 2017.

As well as playing the music, McDonald’s staff received conflict-resolution training, the restaurant’s charging points were covered up and their free wifi was disconnected.

The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) also issued warning letters to offenders, sent messages to schools and enlisted the help of The Lexicon, which co-operated by issuing new radios to its security team.

McDonald's last reported the issue to the police in February.

The CSP recorded an 86% rise in public order offences last year, equalling a rise of 18 cases.

Despite this rise the team saw an overall reduction of victim-based crime of 1 percent, the best score from all local authorities in the Thames Valley.

This was due to shoplifting in Bracknell town centre falling by 16 percent last year, while criminal damage crimes dropped by a quarter.

Other CSPs in West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Reading all saw a rise of more than five percent.

The Bracknell CSP saw a rise in the number of repeated domestic abuse cases of nearly 4%, but the team has identified this as a area of focus for the coming year.

Other areas of focus include tackling drug trafficking on county lines, stopping homeless offenders who exploit and confronting modern slavery.

At a meeting presented to the council, Councillor Robert Angell commented that modern slavery ‘is a bit alien in Bracknell Forest’ and asked why it had been included in the CSP’s priorities.

Alison O’Meara responded by saying that “Bracknell doesn't have a modern slavery problem but all CSPs need to have a procedure for a response to it, so we can support any victims identified in this work.”

According to Ms O’Meara, CSP staff have had six training sessions in helping potential victims of modern slavery already.