RESIDENTS of a community blighted by serious and persistent anti-social behaviour have welcomed a new crackdown.
Police and Wigan Council have joined forces to establish another Section 30 Dispersal Zone is being introduced on the estate in Norley after a recent spate of public order crimes.
Expected to last for six months, the Dispersal Zone is part of an ongoing boroughwide strategy aimed at dealing robustly with the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour and criminal disorder.
In other areas of the borough where a Section 30 has been introduced, including areas around Beech Hill and Standish, there have been significant reductions in reported incidents of ASB from local residents - so much so, more Section 30s are being planned to run over the summer.
Insp Phil James of Pemberton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “The Section 30 gives additional powers to police officers and PCSOs which enables them to tell people to leave the area either immediately or by a deadline; they can also tell people who don’t live in the area to leave and not to return for up to 24 hours.
“We want to reassure the public that the police will not necessarily disperse groups in this area just for being in a group and we recognise that not all groups are causing a nuisance. This is not an exclusion zone or curfew area but it is designed to make the area a more pleasant, safer place for everyone.”
At any time after 9pm and before 6am teenagers below the age of 16 and not under the control of a parent or responsible person over the age of 18 may also be taken home or to an alternative place of safety.
To remain or return to the area having been told to leave may be an offence under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, punishable by three months imprisonment and/or a fine up to £2,500.
Emma Catlow, Wigan Council’s Neighbourhood Team Leader for this area, said: “Sadly, some local residents avoid certain areas because they find themselves threatened or intimidated by groups of people who are congregating and causing a nuisance. This creation of unofficial ‘no go zones’ is totally unacceptable.
“This joint action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate harassment in any form.”
Details in regards to the Dispersal Zones, which began at midnight on Monday and ends at midnight on October 11, will be posted in locations where the zones begin, together with guidance about what it means to residents and members of the public.
The Norley Dispersal Zone covers an area which includes Norley shops and the rear of the shops, Norley Hall Avenue, The Green, Lamberhead Road, School Way, Somerset Road, Richmond Hill, Rosehill Ave, Grasmere Road, Saddleback Road and Saddleback Cresent. All land locked within the perimeter of the streets is also part of the Section 30.
For further zone details contact the NPT on 0161 856 7188 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org