Crackdown success

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A RECENT crackdown on yobbish behaviour was such a success it is to repeated this weekend.

Police and housing officers targeted known hot spots – areas popular with young people who congregate and cause a nuisance for local residents – as part of Operation Stasafe.

But the aim of the operation wasn’t just to reprimand the youngsters and confiscate alcohol and drugs, it is to educate and build bridges as well.

Sheila Martland, Service Manager in Wigan Council’s People Directorate said: “Young people these days are exposed to a great many temptations and risks, most of which leave them exposed to personal danger as well as potentially to longer term consequences, such as alcohol dependency, unwanted pregnancy, substance misuse or a criminal record, to name just a few.

“And these risks are at their greatest at certain times of the year, for instance when spirits are running high on the last day of the school term, on ‘mad Friday’ before Christmas and on Mischief Night.”

That’s why Operation Staysafe, a simple but effective ‘off the shelf’ tool aims to educate young people about the risks associated with alcohol and drugs, while providing a visible and reassuring on-street presence to local residents.

“Officers and volunteers challenge inappropriate behaviour and confiscate alcohol from under-age drinkers,” explains

“But their priority is to ensure that any young person found under the influence of alcohol, who is in a vulnerable state, is taken home or to a place of safety.”

Operation Staysafe combines education, enforcement and personal safety messages to ensure that children and young people are informed about all the potential consequences of getting caught up in anti-social behaviour, whilst encouraging them to take part in fun, meaningful activities.

Sheila added: “After running Operation Staysafe last Friday night in various part of the borough, we’ve been hugely encouraged to learn that fewer and fewer young people are being found in possession of alcohol and there have been no incidents of ASB. Most young people are just out with their mates, hanging out in numbers for personal safety.”

Operation Staysafe will again take place this evening and tomorrow.

The campaign targets anti-social behaviour in all its forms – from innocent mischief-making which gets out of hand to incidents of criminal damage.

Details of activities can be found at www.wigan.gov.uk/safe4autumn and on the Linc Website via www.wlct.org.uk For more information about Operation Treacle log onto www.safe4autumn.com