|New powers to combat unruly groups in ASB hot spot
Police officers patrolling a Hindley estate are to be given new powers to help them tackle the nuisance of unruly groups.
The new Section 30 Dispersal Zone aims to discourage people from congregating and causing a nuisance in the area around Borsdane precinct, a community blighted by serious and persistent anti-social behaviour.
The strict new measures, which come into force on Monday 8th August, follows joint action by Greater Manchester Police (Hindley Neighbourhood Policing Team), Wigan Council and Wigan and Leigh Housing and comes after a recent spate of public order offences.
Residents had complained of groups gathering on mopeds and motorcycles, climbing on the derelict areas of the precinct, throwing stones at houses, causing graffiti and behaving in a rowdy, inconsiderate way both outside the shops and the swimming baths.
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.
Other areas of the borough where a Section 30 has been introduced, including Beech Hill, Norley Hall and Standish, have seen significant reductions in reported incidents of ASB from local residents.
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.
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.
Inspector Anne Scott of Hindley Neighbourhood Policing Team says:
"We want to reassure the public that this is not a draconian measure targeting any specific group, and we will not disperse people in this area simply for being in a group. We recognise that not all groups are causing a nuisance but equally those that are will be asked to leave. This is not intending to create an exclusion zone or a curfew area, but is designed to make the area a more pleasant, safer place for everyone."
Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet champion for communities and the environment, says:
"It is not acceptable that 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 action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate the creation of unofficial Ďno go zonesí or harassment in any form."
Since the introduction of a Section 30 in Norley Hall, the number of incidents of ASB reported to police within the designated area has halved. During the period 1st March 2010 to 20th July 2010, there were 15 reported incidents of youths causing annoyance on Lamberhead Road. In the same period this year there were just 7.
Details in regards to the Dispersal Zones, which begins at 00:01am on 8th August 2011 and ends at 23:59pm on 8th February 2012, 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 Hindley covers an area which includes Borsdane precinct shops, both frontage and rear, as well as Hindley baths and car park .
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 7436 or emailing email@example.com
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