CHARLES GRAHAM - At last, a plan to stop boy racers

I AM beginning to lose count of the number of articles I have written about the imposition of what are rather drily called Section 30 Dispersal Order zones around Wigan borough.

They are a slightly controversial law enforcement tool which some may feel strays into the Orwellian realms of Thought Crime.

After all, their purpose is to send “potential” trouble-makers packing from an identified anti-social behaviour hotspot before they have actually done anything wrong.

But they have proved extremely successful. Latest police figures show ASB finally on the wane and this can in no small way be credited to these zones in such places as Wigan town centre and Standish.

The latest area to receive such treatment is around the Saddle junction at Newtown and Westwood Way at Poolstock with the units on Gower Street and the Asda car park thrown in for good measure.

For years this area has been the focal point for boy racers who have been using the one-way system as a hot rod track, caused a right old mess around McDonalds while any members of the public who have tried to intervene have found themselves the victims of abuse and intimidation.

The only fortunate side to this festering sore is that while there have been plenty of near misses on the roads as these preening buffoons break just about every rule of the road is that no-one has yet been killed or seriously injured in a crash (yet).

It is to be hoped that for the sake of numerous residents, retailers, shoppers and proper drivers, that the dispersal zone will at long last put paid to these antics. One only hopes that it doesn’t just decant the problems elsewhere.

I suppose cost precludes this, but I have to pose the question: wouldn’t it be much easier just to have a permanent dispersal zone for the whole of the borough?