Residents say gang violence has returned

News story
News story

TROUBLE-MAKING youths “drinking, vomiting and urinating” in the streets are causing misery for residents living close to a Wigan park.

Ashton’s Jubilee Park was the scene of violent outbreaks last year, prompting authorities to introduce a dispersal order zone.

But the six-month order - which gave powers allowing officers to move on groups of two or more - ended and was not extended in May.

Residents have told the Evening Post that problems with marauding gangs have returned.

In a letter sent to Greater Manchester Police, Eamonn Gallagher, who lives on an adjacent street, said: “There are gangs in cars using the area to hang out, revving their engines and pounding their horns. There is no police presence, I regularly call.

“This is simply not good enough.

“I’m sure you are aware that the dispersal order has recently been lifted from the area which has now resulted in drunken youths drinking, vomiting, urinating amongst other things regularly in the evenings until the early hours in and around our properties.

“I have a young family and we can’t open our windows because of the swearing outside.”

A reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents during the six month dispersal order enforcement was cited as a reason for not extending them through the summer months.

Chief Insp Stuart Wrudd said officers would inform residents of the reasons behind the decision at a public meeting in June which has not taken place.

Residents living in nearby Pretoria Road - who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals - said that the behaviour of the youths was “beyond a joke” with vandalism and noise a constant threat in the evenings and into the early hours of the morning.

The gates to Jubilee Park which are locked to stop access to the park in the evenings were not preventing groups from congregating, they added.

In his letter to GMP, Mr Gallagher said: “Residents are suffering, I urge you to take action and at least show that you are on our side.”

Since the Ashton dispersal order was lifted in May, two have been enforced in Wigan town centre after outbreaks of anti-social behaviour near to Mesnes Park and the Gidlow area.