Tough measures on nuisance crime

Injunctions will restrict access to areas of Scholes
Injunctions will restrict access to areas of Scholes

Ground-breaking new powers are being unleashed by Wigan authorities to clamp down on persistent nuisance behaviour.

The town hall, in partnership with Wigan and Leigh Homes (WALH), has obtained five injunctions against serial anti-social behaviour offenders.

In what is a legal first for the borough, the injunctions will force the five to engage with support services in the hope of reforming their lifestyle.

Council bosses said the hardline approach in Scholes will address “deep-rooted” ASB problems and can be rolled out across the borough.

WALH chief executive Janice Barton said: “We hope those affected by the injunctions are able to engage with the positive support that is now available to them rather than end up back in the court system again.”

The court-issued injunctions were granted after WALH officers collated evidence - including CCTV footage - of the persistent nuisance behaviour.

They include the “positive requirements” meaning residents must attend therapy sessions linked to their lifestyle such alcohol treatment or drug rehabilitation services.

The four men and one woman - who are not social housing tenants themselves - now have exclusion zones attached to their injunctions, meaning they cannot enter certain properties and areas.

If any of them do enter the areas, then they can be arrested by the police, and hauled before the courts for further sanctions.

Information about the injunctions and how to report any breaches will be sent to residents this week.

Ms Barton added: “Obtaining these injunctions outlines the commitment of Wigan and Leigh Homes to create strong communities and improve the quality of life for all our residents.

“We hope those affected by the injunctions are able to engage with the positive support that is now available to them rather than end up back in the court system again.

“It is really important that residents work with us to report problems early on, and to understand the need to share information with us, which allows us to gather evidence in order to identify possible solutions to the problems.”

For more advice on reporting anti-social behaviour visit: www.walh.co.uk and click on ‘Your Community’.