Police vow to keep up crackdown on teen yobs

Chorley Town Centre traders are happy at the new Market Street opening and parking arrangements
Chorley Town Centre traders are happy at the new Market Street opening and parking arrangements

Police have warned they will continue to use special powers available to them to crack down on teenaged gangs in Chorley town centre if they need to.

Chorley Police have already used ‘dispersal powers’ to tackle nuisance youths causing anti-social behaviour.

The measure, first implemented from 3pm to midnight last Monday under Section 34 of the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014, is granted by an inspector for a period of time to assist officers dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Officers – including PCSOs – use their powers in an identified locality around the town centre to remove or reduce the likelihood of members of the public being harassed, alarmed or distressed or crime and disorder happening in the area.

Chorley Police said three ‘direction to leave’ were issued and numerous youths were spoken to at various locations and urged anyone who witnessed anything to report it to them.

Police later said they were still actively seeking evidence in relation to the incidents and would again be providing a presence in the affected areas. They warned that dispersal powers may well be used again if appropriate.

The exclusion period may not exceed 48 hours. Police can give a direction to anyone who is, or appears to be, over the age of 10.

Failure to comply with the direction to leave is a criminal offence, as is failure to surrender items.

Chorley Police explained their actions on their Facebook page.

In a reply, Majid Akram, wrote: “This dispersal order has already expired. So what’s the next move for police....? Give out incident log numbers which only becomes another statistic.

“Yet those gangs are free to cause havoc whilst police are powerless. Thousands of pounds of damage has already been caused to cars in Chorley.

As for the parents of these gangs and thugs, if your son lives at home then you need to keep a tab on them as a responsible parent to make sure that they keep out of trouble. Otherwise you can sit on your couch oblivious of what your kids are getting upto, ultimately your waiting for an equaliser to wake you up to reality.”

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “There’s a group of about thirty that go round, from McDonald’s, the bus station, and hang around.

“It’s a problem. Years back there used to be youth clubs and things to keep them occupied.”

“Once the new youth centre is up and running, that should hopefully do something. We just need something to keep them out of trouble.

“You’ve had the incidents where some, out of boredom, got into the market.

“They weren’t stealing, they were just looking for something to do.”

Mr Allen, who runs Malcolm’s Musicland, Chapel Street, Chorley, added: “I must admit, if they’re roaming the streets with nothing to do it’s going to cause mischief and put people off coming onto the town centre.”

‘direction to leave’ were issued and numerous youths were spoken to at various locations and urged anyone who witnessed anything to report it to them.

Police later said they were still seeking evidence in relation to the incidents and would again be providing a presence in the affected areas. They warned that dispersal powers may well be used again if appropriate.

The exclusion period may not exceed 48 hours. Police can give a direction to anyone who is, or appears to be, over the age of 10. Failure to comply with the direction to leave is a criminal offence, as is failure to surrender items.

Neighbourhood police inspector Charlie Cox, of Chorley Police, said: “We’ve not issued them frequently in Chorley because they have got to be proportionate and justifiable and we’ve got to have grounds. The grounds are based on local knowledge and intelligence if the inspector deems it suitable.”

He said the order could be “pre-planned or dynamic” and that “several were issued last week and over the weekend”.

He said: “They’ve all had a good impact in us being able to move people on, out of areas. We’re speaking to parents of those identified.

“What we do is review information on a daily basis and make a decision on certain information and intelligence.”

He said the incidents had been taking place over the last couple of weeks.

“Like most places we have sporadic incidents of large groups of individuals,” he said. The area is generally the town centre and surrounding area into Chorley east ward.”

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “There’s a group of about thirty that go round, from McDonald’s, the bus station, and hang around. It’s a problem. Years back there used to be youth clubs and things to keep them occupied.

“Once the new youth centre is up and running, that should hopefully do something.”