Wigan residents create website to report anti-social behaviour

Under-funded police resources are struggling to respond the growing number of calls about anti-social behaviour
Under-funded police resources are struggling to respond the growing number of calls about anti-social behaviour

Residents frustrated by anti-social behaviour in a Wigan community can now use a new website to highlight problems to the authorities.

Gaz Parkinson has set up Swinley Anti-Social Behaviour Reporting to bring to wider notice issues in the area, particularly at Pagefield Mill.

The derelict former industrial building next to Mesnes Park has been plagued by problems for years, with roof tiles recently being thrown from the tower and smashing a window of an adjoining house.

Gaz, who is also an administrator for a social media group covering Swinley, Whitley and Whelley, says he hopes the website will ensure more information about what is happening ends up in the hands of the police and Wigan Council.

Gaz said: “We’ve been suffering these issues for a few years now, particularly people dicing with death at Pagefield Mill.

“The week before Easter a neighbour’s window was put through and following that there was more activity.

“Speaking to a PCSO it was clear that a lot of information which exists on places like our social media group is not being reported to the police.

“Hopefully this website can bridge that gap and make it easier for people.”

Gaz stresses that he is not intending the website to replace either the police’s 101 non-emergency system or the council’s ReportIt app for anti-social behaviour.

Indeed he said that while he sympathised with people struggling to get through to cash-strapped authorities with dwindling resources he said it was vital people did persevere.

However, he said the new website could hopefully sit alongside those and ensure all the relevant details of incidents get to the right

place.

Gaz said: “Anyone who reports something to the website gets an email back with hints and tips on how to go to the council or police with that information.

“I do think a lot of people don’t report things to 101 because the wait times are too long or they don’t think they should be reporting something.

“Sometimes I hear people saying there’s no point because the police never turn up anyway. That’s the wrong attitude but I think it’s understandable people are getting frustrated.

“We are generating information to share with them and hopefully that will get some of these issues resolved.”

The website has been up and running for around a fortnight and mainly dealing with Pagefield issues so far,.

He said he has spoken to Wigan Council’s anti-social behaviour team about the website and is also being backed by Wigan Central representatives Coun Lawrence Hunt and Coun Michael McLoughlin.

He also suggested that if the website takes off it could be rolled out to other areas of the borough.

The council said it shared frustrations over anti-social behaviour but also urged people to persevere with its reporting devices as well.

Kathryn Rees, assistant director for transformation, said: “Although it is commendable that local residents are coming up with new ideas and being innovative in how they collate this vital information, we would urge them to continue using the existing systems that are in place to report anti-social behaviour, such as the council’s online ReportIt app.

“This software ensures that all of the relevant information is sent through to the appropriate team to deal with accordingly.

“We would also like to stress that if the anti-social behaviour in question is of a criminal nature, then it should be reported directly to the police.

“We share the public’s frustrations around anti-social behaviour as this type of activity can have adverse effects on a person’s health and wellbeing, however, any community systems must work hand in hand with the relevant authorities.”

To find out more visit www.swinley-asbo-report.vividwebdesignuk.co.uk/