A Dispersal Zone is being introduced in Prescot Town Centre today, Wednesday 15 June, following recent reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the area.
The order starts at 5pm today until 4.59 on Friday 17 June where it will be further reviewed. Officers will be in the area to provide a visible presence and deal with any incidents.
The Dispersal Zone covers the area bounded by the map including High Street, West Street, Pratt Road, Preston Avenue, Manchester Road, Steley Way, Warrington Road, Kemble Street, Cypris Road and Eccleston Street
These reports of anti-social behaviour relate to groups of youths gathering and becoming involved in violence, harassment and criminal damage, including recent damage to St Mary’s Church.
The order comes under Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour & Policing Act 2014, which gives police officers and police community support traffic officers powers to direct people they suspect are causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance or anti-social behaviour to members of the public to leave a designated area and not return for up to 48 hours.
Under the legislation, officers have the power to seize any item, including vehicles, used in the commission of anti-social behaviour.
Should a person who has previously been directed to leave the area return, an offence would be committed, which they may ultimately be arrested for.
Community Policing Inspector Mark Berry said: “We simply will not tolerate such instances of criminal damage and have put this dispersal in place to prevent youths gathering and causing unnecessary distress and intimidation to people who want to go about their business without fear or harm.
“We have increased patrols in the area, and this latest action of a dispersal zone is to deal with any issues and prevent offences from taking place.
“The order isn’t designed to impact upon the vast majority of law-abiding members of the community but to deal with any issues, prevent offences from taking place and ensure residents and businesses are not subjected to any anti-social or criminal behaviour.
“I would also urge parents and guardians to know where young people in your care are, to further assist us in dealing with those who cause trouble.”
Anyone who wishes to report anti-social or criminal behaviour can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.