Safety patrols make an impact in town centres

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photo of safety team

Regular patrols in Wigan and Leigh town centres are providing a safety boost, helping residents enjoy public spaces free from anti-social behaviour.

As part of the borough’s Community Safety Partnership, Wigan Council officers have teamed up with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police to carry out highly visible patrols around the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) areas within Wigan and Leigh town centres.

The initiative has followed the renewal of both towns’ PSPOs, which provide extra powers for local authorities to tackle persistent issues.

A further boost to town centre public safety has also been announced this month, with Wigan Council expanding its successful safety marshal scheme.

Councillor Dane Anderton, portfolio holder for police, crime, and civil contingencies said: “The safety of our residents is paramount and everyone should be entitled to enjoy our public spaces all year round.

“The PSPOs allow the Community Safety Partnership to target issues such as the use of intoxicating substances, crackdown on anti-social behaviour and tackle illegal begging through either fixed penalty notices or prosecutions.

“These patrols reassure our residents that we take our responsibility to ensure our local areas are safe places to live, visit and work very seriously.”

The regular patrols see Wigan Council’s community resilience officers work alongside GMP’s neighbourhood teams and can lead to arrests for persistent anti-social behaviour.

Engagement work is also undertaken, with the officers learning from local residents about their priorities when it comes to community safety.

Neighbourhood Inspector Sam Davies said: “There has been significant progress by the partnership in enforcing the PSPO in our town centres and the new multi-agency patrols are having a positive impact within our communities.

“We want to send a clear message that anti-social behaviour has a serious, detrimental impact on people who live and work within our communities and it will not be tolerated.

“Our work very much continues but I want to reassure members of the public that we are committed to making positive changes in the short, medium and long term and initiatives like this are testament to our joined-up aims.”

To date, the council has provided safety marshals during the evening in Wigan and Atherton town centres, alongside daytime safety marshals in Leigh.

From this month, daytime safety will patrol Wigan town centre to support those who need assistance. 

Councillor Anderton added: “The safety marshals offer reassurance and a calming presence and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback about their impact. This further rollout is good news as they continue to make a difference.”

Safety marshals provide a highly visible presence and are there to offer advise and support if you need a helping hand or if something doesn’t feel quite right. If you’re in immediate danger, dial 999.