Fun and security mix

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A CARROT and stick approach is being taken by the authorities as they bid to minimise crime and anti-social behaviour over the holidays.

Wigan’s Building Stronger Communities Partnership has been busy co-ordinating lots of family fun events and free activities as well as planning a crackdown on nuisance hotspots.

Police Neighbourhood Teams across the borough will be patrolling these areas, dispersing unruly groups and visiting young people who have previously been involved in anti-social activities and are known to the authorities.

Officers will also be visiting licensed premises, to remind licensees of their responsibility in helping to reduce disorderly behaviour, particularly in town centres.

Police also plan to visit and reassure vulnerable people, as well as those who have previously been victims of repeat ASB.

Meanwhile events from decorating Easter eggs to finding out about fossils, from springing into nature with guided butterfly walks to family orienteering have been organised.

The popular X Zones are also taking place, with a number of free activities, whilst the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme gives young people the chance to take part in exciting challenges, learn life skills and make new friends.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is also laying on a number of family-oriented events, including an Easter Egg hunt at Three Sisters, the Mesnes Easter Eggstravaganza at Mesnes Park and the Easter Chick Trail at Pennington Flash.

Over in the east of the borough, members of the Leigh Area Managers Group, including Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team, WLCT Sports Development Team and the council’s Youth Service, are laying on a range of family fun days to include sports, quizzes, treasure hunts, camping skills, cycle repairs, climbing wall and water sports.

But Supt Bob Lomas of Wigan Police and joint chairman of the partnership today urged young people to get involved in positive activities this holiday - or risk falling foul of the law.

He added: “Sometimes, young people find themselves involved in what might look like just a bit of harmless fun, but other members of the community might not agree.

“We know where the anti-social hotspots are, and working with partners, we will robustly target those engaging in anti-social behaviour.”