|New powers introduced on estate to tackle unruly groups
Residents of a community blighted by serious and persistent anti-social behaviour are welcoming strict new measures designed to discourage groups from congregating and causing a nuisance in their neighbourhood.
Following joint action by Greater Manchester Police and Wigan Council a Section 30 Dispersal Zone is being introduced on the estate in Norley Hall after a recent spate of public order offences.
Expected to last for six months, the Dispersal Zone is part of an ongoing boroughwide strategy aimed at dealing robustly with the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour and criminal disorder.
In other areas of the borough where a Section 30 has been introduced, including areas around Beech Hill and Standish, there have been significant reductions in reported incidents of ASB from local residents - so much so, more Section 30s are being planned to run over the summer.
Inspector Phil James of Pemberton Neighbourhood Policing Team says:
"The Section 30 gives additional powers to police officers and PCSOs which enables them to tell people to leave the area either immediately or by a deadline; they can also tell people who donít live in the area to leave and not to return for up to 24 hours.
"We want to reassure the public that the police will not necessarily disperse groups in this area just for being in a group and we recognise that not all groups are causing a nuisance. This is not an exclusion zone or curfew area but it is designed to make the area a more pleasant, safer place for everyone."
As part of these measures, any time after 9.00pm and before 6.00am teenagers below the age of 16 and not under the control of a parent or responsible person over the age of 18 may also be taken home or to an alternative place of safety.
To remain or return to the area having been told to leave may be an offence under Section 30(4) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, punishable by 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to £2,500.
Emma Catlow, Wigan Councilís Neighbourhood Team Leader for this area says:
"Sadly, some local residents avoid certain areas because they find themselves threatened or intimidated by groups of people who are congregating and causing a nuisance. This creation of unofficial Ďno go zonesí is totally unacceptable.
"This joint action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate harassment in any form."
Details in regards to the Dispersal Zones, which begins at 00:01am on 11th April 2011 and ends at 23:59pm on 11th October 2011, will be posted in locations where the zones begin, together with guidance about what it means to residents and members of the public.
The Dispersal Zone in Norley Hall covers an area which includes Norley Hall shops and the rear of the shops, Norley Hall Ave, The Green, Lamberhead Road, School Way, Somerset Road, Richmond Hill, Rosehill Ave, Grasmere Road, Saddleback Road and Saddleback Cresent.
All land locked within the perimeter of the streets is also part of the Section 30.
For further details in regards to the Section 30 Dispersal Zone please contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team by calling 0161 856 7188 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To report non-emergency incidents or to report a crime call 0161 872 5050.
Only call 999 in an emergency where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.
To report incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area, contact Wigan Councilís ASB helpline: 01942 404364.