Making a difference against yob culture

Exterior of the derelict building, formerly Wigan and Leigh College's Pagefield Campus

Exterior of the derelict building, formerly Wigan and Leigh College's Pagefield Campus

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MEASURES to tackle yob behaviour in areas close to a Wigan park are having the desired effect, residents have said.

Authorities have repaired security fencing, installed cameras and imposed dispersal orders around the disused Pagefield Mill building next to Mesnes Park.

All have contributed to a fall in anti-social behaviour incidents although there are concerns it will not continue.

Gareth Parkinson, whose Kenyon Road home backs onto the former Wigan and Leigh College campus building, said: “Since the dispersal orders were imposed there have still been some incidents but they have not been that frequent.

“The fences have been mended and cameras on the park now point towards the building.

“We don’t have anyone throwing objects into our garden anymore.

“The schools are back now and the summer is coming to an end so you would expect a drop but I think there has been a difference.”

The dispersal orders - which allow officers to move on groups of two or more - were imposed in June and will kept in place through to December.

Earlier this year residents said youths were congregating on the park and causing havoc in the Pagefield building, setting fires and throwing glass and metal.

Dad-of-three Mr Parkinson said he hoped the measures are kept in place.

He told the Evening Post: “I have been told that the cameras are now being operated and I hope it stays that way.

“We have had problems in the past and there has been a crackdown but then it started up again.

“Hopefully it can stay like it is because it has got better.”

Gangs of youths had kicked down a security fence providing direct access from the park to the former Pagefield Mill building.

Local authority staff have now re-erected the perimeter fence which is topped with barbed-wire.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for safer communities, said previous dispersal orders used in the borough were bringing similar success.

He added: “I’m confident our zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour will stop the issues which are absolutely unacceptable.”