Operation Bluefin targeting ASB and youth crime in Wigan
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Off road bikes have been seized, a dispersal order granted and dozens of police contacted cards issued during a multi-agency operation targeting anti-social behaviour in Wigan.
Under Operation Bluefin, police have been working alongside the council to crackdown on ASB and youth crime in hotspot areas across the borough.
Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Wigan Council's Targeted Youth Support Services (TYSS) have boosted their patrols as part of the Place and Community Safety Partnership operation in the following areas:-
Leigh Town Centre, including the Bus Station.
Firs Park and the Poets Estate, Leigh.
Atherton Town Centre including Central Park and Vulcan Park.
Platt Bridge, Woodcock Drive, Millers Lane, Liverpool Road and Walthew Lane.
Wigan Town Centre including the bus station.
Standish Town Centre.
Since March 1 a total of 82 contact cards have been issued to young people who have been found to engaging in ASB across the borough.
Contact cards highlight to partner agencies young people who are found to be involved in ASB. They act as a pathway for potential warning letters, home visits or referrals to other agencies for further support.
If further contact cards continue to be issued to the same individual, a review determines what enforcement action needs to be taken.
As a result of the contact cards, 41 first warning letters have been issued and ten home visits will be carried out by partner agencies. Three one-to-one support referrals have been made to Wigan Council's Targeted Youth Support Services.
Elsewhere, a Dispersal Order was authorised for 24 hours between March 10-11 in the Firs Park and Poets Estate areas of Leigh - preventing ASB issues developing in a particular area of concern.
GMP's Safer Roads Targeting Team also seized five off-road bikes and a Ford Transit van that were being driven illegally in Aspull on Saturday 6 March.
Mounted Officers from the GMP's Specialist Operations have also patrolled various hotspot areas in Leigh and officers from the Tactical Aid Unit have deployed to the bus stations at Wigan and Leigh to deter crime. This is alongside Neighbourhood Officers and PCSOs.
The proactive operation recognises that increasing warm weather may exacerbate ASB issues during a time when diversionary activities for young people like youth clubs are unavailable due to the pandemic.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, portfolio holder for Community Safety and Civil Contingencies at Wigan Council, said: "We are pleased to see that Operation Bluefin is making an impact on local levels of anti-social behaviour.
"Working together we are able to combine our resources and coordinate our response in a more targeted away.
"The allocation of the mounted unit and off road bike teams from GMP is welcomed, and we are starting to see the impact of joint patrolling arrangements."
Superintendent Mark Kenny of GMP's Wigan District said: "Action we've taken during Operation Bluefin is making a real difference to the areas of concern highlighted by our community,
"By deploying a range of resources and powers, including specialist mounted and off-road units in conjunction with dispersal orders, we've been able to drive down ASB in hotspots across the borough and to keep our streets safe.
"We're keen to build on this and Operation Bluefin will continue during the coming weeks as we move forward toward the easing of Governement lockdown restrictions."
Residents are encouraged to report criminal ASB or crime by calling 101 or via the online reporting system at www.gmp.police.uk
ASB can also be reported to Wigan Council either by phoning the contact centre on 01942 404364 (option 3) or through the online ReportIt system available on the council website at www.wigan.gov.uk