Call for action as violent acts return

Vandals strike at bus shelter
Vandals strike at bus shelter

CONCERNED residents are calling for an extension of no-go zones after a youth gang smashed bus shelters near to a Wigan park.

Section 30 Dispersal Orders are in place in areas around Ashton’s Jubilee Park but will run out in May.

Wigan Council bosses are considering prolonging the measures which they believe have contributed to a significant reduction of anti-social behaviour incidents.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for safer communities, said: “Since last October, a number of measures designed to tackle anti-social behaviour have been implemented in and around Jubilee Park. We will continue to work together to stamp out ASB and to ensure the area is safe for local residents.”

But members of the newly formed Ashton Residents Association have urged the council to act now to extend the orders.

Michael Moulding, chairman of the group, said: “It is not acceptable for residents to be subjected to this type of behaviour which is clearly returning to the streets of Ashton.

“We want immediate and effective action taken by the authorities including the implementation of a town-wide dispersal order that covers both Jubilee Park and Ashton town centre.”

The dispersal orders allow police officers to move on groups of two or more. Residents reported viewing a gang congregate near to Jubilee Park on Friday evening before the acts of vandalism occurred.

Mr Moulding added that homeowners who witnessed the vandalism “felt they could not approach the youths because there were too many of them.”

Jubilee Park was the scene of violent outbreaks at the end of last year, including running battles between gangs of youngsters and police.