New powers to tackle nuisance behaviour

The former Pagefield Campus has been a target for vandals
The former Pagefield Campus has been a target for vandals

WIGAN’S authorities have been given new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour while giving priority to the needs of victims.

Ministers hope the measures included in a new bill will give flexibility to local authorities and police forces in how they deal with offences.

These include giving victims a say in out-of-court punishments with emphasis on restorative justice.

Councils will also be given greater powers to close down premises used to create public disorder.

Alan Blundell, Wigan Council’s Assistant Director for Regulation, said: “We are pleased to have these new powers and will be using them to work more effectively with our partners in tackling ASB.

“They will help us build safer communities and will also enable residents affected by anti-social behaviour to have a direct say in what course of action should be taken against perpetrators.”

The legislation, which comes into force this week, includes so-called community remedy measures which could see offenders apologising to victims, repairing or cleaning up damage and being ordered to perform unpaid work.

Victims in the borough will also be able to request case reviews from authorities if they have reported three separate incidents over a six month period.

The new regulations will compliment existing methods of tackling ASB such as enforcing dispersal order zones.

Several of these orders - which allow officers to move on groups of two more from affected areas - have been set up in borough hotspots in recent years including Jubilee Park in Ashton, around Mesnes Park in Wigan and Astley Street park.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant chief constable Garry Shewan said: “Collectively these new powers will simplify and improve our ability to deal with ASB in the way that communities expect, and we will use them to their full extent to improve people’s quality of life.”

Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Tackling and reducing antisocial behaviour is a priority for me. I am determined to make sure councils, police and communities work together to address the scourge of ASB.”

Residents can report nuisance behaviour to Wigan Council on 01942 404364, through their website or Wigan Police on 101.