Working together to keep people safe over summer

Working together to keep people safe over summer

A local partnership tasked with keeping people safe is gearing up to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour over summer.

Wigan borough’s Place and Community Safety Partnership has faced new challenges this year, with the impact of the pandemic, during lockdown and more so as lockdown arrangements start to be lifted.

A key focus has been tackling breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions including illegal raves and large gatherings.

The Partnership includes many agencies working together behind the scenes to tackle and prevent large scale disorder and crime, in order to protect and keep our residents safe.

It brings together Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the NHS, housing, and probation services.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for police, crime and civil contingencies at the council, said: “The main priority of the partnership is to build strong communities and put practical measures in place to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

“This really does mean we all have to work together, almost as one organisation, to share information and intelligence across the borough, using this intelligence to plan together to prevent crime and disorder.

“A lot of this work happens behind the scenes, and the public wouldn’t necessarily know the strategies and measures that have been implemented to prevent crime taking place throughout the pandemic - which actually shows the success of the partnership.”

With many bars and pubs reopening their doors and young people on an extended break from education, the organisations involved are preparing for a busy few months ahead.

Councillor Anderson added: “Our teams have quickly adapted to new way of working and to new challenges which the Covid-19 lockdown presented.

“There’s been a heavy presence in our town centres to not only ensure businesses are complying with the rules, but to also offer reassurance to the public, that they are safe.

“Officers from the council and the police have patrolled in town centres at weekends to ensure licensed premises are adhering to the new guidelines and have safety measures in place.

“Resources have also been redeployed and efforts refocused where they are most needed.

“For example our community resilience teams and targeted youth services have been doing lots of outreach work with young people across the borough to educate them on the new measures and why it’s important for their own safety to follow them.”

The partnership has also successfully prevented number of illegal raves and large gatherings going ahead in lockdown, putting swift action plans in place as new intelligence was received.

The council’s environmental teams helped to prevent access and parking at key sites, including Haigh Hall.

The authorities also worked together to secure anti-social behaviour injunctions and dispersal orders to prevent events going ahead.

Chief Inspector Liz Sanderson, Greater Manchester Police, said: “These types of events are dangerous and unacceptable and we would urge anyone who may have information about any illegal rave activity to please contact the police so we can prevent them from happening. These events have a significant impact on local communities and those attending face the prospect of enforcement action, including arrest and prosecution.

“We have had a dedicated policing operation in place with a much higher police presence in potential hotspot areas. Whenever we see illegal activity taking place, we will take action.

“The key to preventing raves is early intelligence. If you have any information on a rave taking place or hear about an event, please contact us on 101 or via our online reporting.”

Councillor Anderson said: “We will continue to be vigilant, and ask that our local communities help us by following the rules to stay safe, and also sharing any intelligence on local event or activities that they may receive to enable us to act quickly.”

Posted on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

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