Police to hold public meeting

Jubilee Park

Jubilee Park

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CONCERNED residents will have the chance to voice their views about the ongoing anti-social behaviour centred around a Wigan park.

A bus shelter was smashed during another night of unrest in Ashton on Tuesday despite dispersal orders now being enforced around Jubilee Park.

A meeting for residents next week has been set up by Greater Manchester Police to discuss the problems.

The move follows on from the recent emergency meet of the newly formed Ashton Residents’ Association at which locals voiced their fears of leaving their homes because of the escalating violence by teenage gangs.

Ward councillors met with Ch Supt Shaun Donnellan and council officers earlier this month to discuss a cross-authority response.

Coun Nigel Ash said: “The past few months have seen an unacceptable rise in anti-social behaviour not just around the park but on Ashton Heath.

“Councillors and residents are working in partnership with GMP, the council and other agencies did see ASB levels drop.

“Now we have to do the same with the park so that residents are no longer troubled by unruly individuals who have made their lives a misery.”

An increased police presence has been placed around the park, in addition to the enforcement of dispersal orders which allow officers to move on anyone in groups of two or more.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) officials have put in place a number of initiatives such as locking the park at night and cutting back bushes and hedgerows.

Despite the new measures, a glass bus stop adjacent to the park was shattered this week - at least the fourth time it has occurred in recent weeks.

And residents have reported incidents of youths playing with fireworks weeks after police and fire crews were pelted with missiles and a 34-year-old man was attacked as he left his home.

A WLCT spokesman said: “The issue of anti-social behaviour at Jubilee Park is being taken extremely seriously and we have already taken a number of actions to address this.

“The majority of park gates have been locked, however, the entrance on Queens Road is being opened in the morning to allow disabled access to the park, and people can still enter the park via the open access on Wigan Road.

“We have also pruned trees and shrubs on site and are repairing the brick wall that was damaged by vandals.”

The meeting - which will take place on Thursday, November 28 at 6.30pm at The Byrchall High School on Warrington Road - is expected to be attended by senior GMP officers.

Residents are urged to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to the non-emergency 101 number.