Order to curb anti-social behaviour in town centres extended for another 12 months

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photo of Wigan Town Centre
Wigan town centre

Residents have overwhelmingly voted in favour of extending town centre orders in Wigan and Leigh aimed at keeping people safe from anti-social behaviour.

Wigan Council, with support from Greater Manchester Police, launched a consultation earlier this month to gather opinions about extending a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the town centres.

Over 500 responses were received, of which 95% of them were in favour of the measures being extended.

Under the guidelines, the orders mean anyone found to be engaging in anti-social behaviour will be made to leave the area and not allowed to return for 24 hours when ordered to do so by a police constable or PCSO unless they live in the designated area.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have been consulting with the public to understand their views around PSPO’s for Wigan and Leigh town centres as we want to ensure any measures put in place to address anti-social behaviour are in line with local need.

“We have taken on board all of the comments received and with 95 per cent of respondents in support of the PSPO extension, we have worked with the police to implement this for another year.

“We thank everybody for taking part in this consultation and hope the outcome encourages residents to continue to feel safe and supported in their communities.”

The implementation of PSPOs are not designed to target homelessness or rough sleeping but to protect the whole community from ASB.

In the last two years, Wigan Council has worked hard to improve its homeless offer and this has resulted in the borough bucking the trend with a reduced rough sleeper count.

There are currently 13 people recorded as rough sleepers in the borough, this is compared to 30 in 2017 and 27 in 2016 – demonstrating the strides that have been made.

Investment in two new hubs, run by The Brick, within Wigan and Leigh, which provide overnight homeless provision has helped tackle rough sleeping.

There are also extra beds available through A Bed Every Night scheme which was launched by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham last year – meaning the total number of beds available to rough sleepers across the borough is 45.

Furthermore, the Real Change campaign, launched in 2018, has helped raised thousands of pounds for people who are homeless and paid for practical items that are needed to build independent lives away from the streets.

The 12-month extension of PSPOs in Wigan and Leigh will run until 17 October 2020