Crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Wigan is 'making a real difference'
Off-road bikes have been seized, a dispersal order granted and dozens of police contact cards issued during a multi-agency operation targeting anti-social behaviour in Wigan.
Under Operation Bluefin, police have been working alongside the council to crackdown on anti-social behaviour and youth crime in hot-spot areas across the borough.
Neighbourhood policing teams and Wigan Council's targeted youth support services (TYSS) have boosted their patrols as part of the Place and Community Safety Partnership operation.
It has taken place in: Leigh town centre, including the bus station; Firs Park and Poets estate, Leigh; Atherton town centre, including Central Park and Vulcan Park; Woodcock Drive, Millers Lane, Liverpool Road and Walthew Lane in Platt Bridge; Wigan town centre, including the bus station; Mesnes Park; Standish town centre; and Shevington.
Since March 1, 82 contact cards have been issued to young people who have been found engaging in anti-social behaviour across the borough.
The cards highlight to partner agencies young people who are found to be involved in anti-social behaviour. They act as a pathway for potential warning letters, home visits or referrals to other agencies for further support. If further contact cards are issued to the same person, a review determines what enforcement action needs to be taken.
As a result of the contact cards, 41 first warning letters have been issued and 10 home visits will be carried out by partner agencies. Three one-to-one support referrals have been made to the council's TYSS.
A dispersal order was authorised for 24 hours between March 10 and 11 in the Firs Park and Poets estate areas of Leigh, preventing anti-social behaviour issues developing.
Greater Manchester Police's safer roads targeting team seized five off-road bikes and a Ford Transit van that were being driven illegally in Aspull.
Mounted officers from the force's specialist operations have also patrolled hot-spot areas in Leigh and officers from the tactical aid unit went to the bus stations in Wigan and Leigh to deter crime, alongside neighbourhood officers and PCSOs.
The proactive operation recognises that increasing warm weather may exacerbate anti-social behaviour issues, at a time when diversionary activities for young people like youth clubs are unavailable due to the pandemic.
Coun Kevin Anderson, portfolio holder for community safety and civil contingencies at Wigan Council, said: "We are pleased to see that Operation Bluefin is making an impact on local levels of anti-social behaviour.
"Working together we are able to combine our resources and coordinate our response in a more targeted away.
"The allocation of the mounted unit and off-road bike teams from GMP is welcomed, and we are starting to see the impact of joint patrolling arrangements."
Superintendent Mark Kenny, of Greater Manchester Police's Wigan district, said: "Action we've taken during Operation Bluefin is making a real difference to the areas of concern highlighted by our community,
"By deploying a range of resources and powers, including specialist mounted and off-road units in conjunction with dispersal orders, we've been able to drive down ASB in hot-spots across the borough and to keep our streets safe.
"We're keen to build on this and Operation Bluefin will continue during the coming weeks as we move forward toward the easing of Governement lockdown restrictions."
Residents are encouraged to report criminal anti-social behaviour or crime by calling 101 or via the online reporting system at www.gmp.police.uk
Anti-social behaviour can also be reported to the council either by phoning 01942 404364 (option 3) or through the online ReportIt system at www.wigan.gov.uk
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