Wigan police launch joint project with council to tackle anti-social behaviour
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Wigan police have launched a joint operation with the council to tackle concerns over anti-social behaviour in the borough.
Operation Bluefin will see officers work alongside local authority teams to provide increased public reassurance and tackle the problem in the areas of most concern.
The proactive operation recognises that increasing warm weather may exacerbate issues during a time when diversionary activities for young people like youth clubs are unavailable due to the pandemic.
Locations will be prioritised using GMP data, intelligence and reports from the community. Partners will meet on a weekly basis to agree shared actions and responses, as well as developing shared strategic and tactical plans.
The news comes after neighbourhood officers in Scholes spent a weekend identifying young people behaving antisocially in areas such as Vauxhall Road, Cambridge Street and Darlington Street East.
There will also be a daily review meeting with partners which will jointly task resources.
Wigan Council’s anti-social behaviour team will use targeted youth services to prevent and deter ASB. Where needed, police will take action against anyone responsible for ASB or crime.
Types of ASB that have seen a rise in reports across the Wigan District include youths gathering in large groups in contravention of Government lockdown rules and criminal damage.
Superintendent Mark Kenny of GMP’s Wigan District said: “’GMP is working closely with our partners and the community in Wigan to understand and prevent anti-social behaviour and crime.
“This week sees the launch of Operation Bluefin, dedicated to reducing anti-social behaviour.
“This will include Police Officers and PCSOs patrolling areas of concern for residents with our partners to identify those responsible.
“Where crimes have been committed we will take robust action against those responsible and when suitable seek injunctions to help prevent further crimes.
“Operation Bluefin is part of our commitment to making the Borough safer with partners as part of the Wigan Place & Community Safety Partnership.”
Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council Portfolio Holder for Police, Crime and Civil Contingencies, said: “Operation Blue Fin has been introduced in response to rising demands in the borough from anti-social behaviour and youth crime.
“This type of behaviour, as in so many other areas across the country, has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“It cannot be resolved by one single organisation and needs a range of different approaches and robust interventions where the evidence warrants it.
“We hope that this partnership approach will help to reduce the impact on our residents.”
In the first few days of Operation Bluefin, Wigan officers officers dealt with ASB involving youths around the Shevington area, and the town centre of Wigan. Two youths were caught on CCTV deliberately setting off the fire alarm in the Grand Arcade. They ran off but the police have insisted the culprits will be identified and dealt with.
PCSOs have also posted pictures of their patrols in areas including Leigh, Atherton and Platt Bridge.
Residents are encouraged to report criminal ASB or suspected breaches of lockdown restrictions by calling 101 or via the online reporting system at www.gmp.police.uk
Reports can also be made to the Council's community resilience team either by phoning the contact centre on 01942 404364 (option 3) or through the online Report It system available on the council website at www.wigan.gov.uk.
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