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Standish Dispersal Order Cuts Antisocial Behaviour by a Quarter
Tuesday 19th April, 2011

A dispersal order that has been in force across Standish town centre for the last six months has been extended due to its success in reducing antisocial behaviour (ASB).

Between 15 Oct 2010 and 15 April 2011 there were 52 reports of ASB compared to 69 for the same period in 2009/10, a drop of 17 incidents or 25 per cent.

Because of this reduction, police and Wigan Council have decided to extend the order for another six months until 21 October 2011.

Six-month orders are also going to be enforced at Scholes Precinct and in the Beech Hill area from Thursday 21 April to combat similar problems there.

Dispersal orders are designed to discourage groups from congregating and causing a nuisance, and have been used in areas across Wigan borough that have suffered from serious and persistent ASB.

The Standish dispersal zone was introduced after a spate of public order offences, and covered Smalley St, Pole St, Preston Rd, Collingwood St, Market St, Bramley Court, Somerfields Car Park, School Lane and all land within the perimeter of these streets.

Police officers and PCSOs were able to tell people congregating in an area to leave it either immediately or by a certain deadline. They could also tell those who didn’t live in the area to leave and not return for up to 24 hours.

In addition, teenagers under 16 who were not under the control of a parent or responsible person over 18 could be taken home or to an alternative place of safety between 9.00pm and 6.00am.

Inspector Glenn Jones of the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) said: “To have reduced the number of antisocial behaviour incidents by a quarter is a really good result, and proof that these measures do work.

"It’s important to stress that the dispersal zone was not introduced to target young people or to demonise any specific groups within the community. Also, we didn’t disperse people just for being in a group, as we recognise that not all groups cause a nuisance. Our main aim is to target anyone who behaves unacceptably, no matter what their age, and it is only by doing this that we can make these areas more pleasant and safer for everyone.”

Joanne Makin, Group Manager for Neighbourhood Teams at Wigan Council, adds: "In some of our neighbourhoods there are small areas that have become ‘no go zones’ for local residents, who find themselves intimidated by gangs who are congregating and causing a nuisance. This is totally unacceptable.

“This joint action sends out a clear message that agencies will not tolerate harassment in any form. This reduction is another example of how, working together, agencies can achieve significant results.”

To contact the Wigan NPT call 0161 856 7124 or email wigan.apt@gmp.police.uk

For non-emergency calls or to report crime call police on 0161 872 5050 or for more information visit gmp.police.uk/wigan

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information. Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.

Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or crime in progress.

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