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No More ASB

Crime and antisocial behaviour have no place in our town centres

by Alison Cornmell

That’s the strong message from Knowsley Council after recent incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) in its town centres. Working with colleagues at Merseyside Police, swift and decisive action is being taken to disrupt this activity, find those responsible and ensure everyone understands that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

Following recent Dispersal Zones in areas of Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby 20 dispersal orders were issued.

Knowsley is currently ploughing millions of pounds into improving its town centres and is determined that the unacceptable behaviour of a small number of individuals will not negatively impact those plans and the positive progress being made.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods commented:

“We are delivering multi-million-pound developments in Huyton, Kirkby and Prescot town centres – helping to bring in new businesses and create really enjoyable places for our communities to enjoy. Despite the positive changes that are taking place, we are seeing unacceptable behaviour from some individuals intent on causing a nuisance, intimidating others and committing crime. Put simply, we won’t stand by and let this continue.

“We have recently pledged £1 million to help us tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in Knowsley and that really does show how committed we are and how important we know it is to our residents. I hope that these additional resources and our close partnership work with the Police will resolve these current issues – bringing those responsible to justice and making our town centres wonderful places for our whole community to enjoy safely.”

Dispersal Zones give the police powers to direct people they suspect are causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance, or anti-social behaviour to leave a designated area and not return for up to 48 hours. Under the legislation, officers have the power to seize any item 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.

Chief Inspector Duncan Swan, Knowsley Local Policing said:

“Anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated, and the introduction of Dispersal Zones gives us the power to disperse groups causing such issues, and to provide reassurance to the vast majority of law-abiding Knowsley residents.

“We are an intelligence-based organisation, and we continue to urge residents to report any incidents of crime, vandalism or anti-social behaviour to us. With our partners we can then respond to these issues.”

Significantly, Knowsley’s Crime and Communities Team have issued 16 warning letters and 14 Acceptable Behaviour Agreements (ABAs).  These contracts are signed by those known to the authorities for being involved in antisocial behaviour and is an agreement that they will abide by the rules set. Rules include not being allowed in their area where they were behaving antisocially without an adult and set curfews agreed with parents. The Crime and Communities also work alongside parents, families and schools and may also organise opportunities for those causing ASB them to get involved in activities to divert them away from criminal behaviour.

Merseyside Police and Knowsley Council also make full use of the 890 CCTV cameras covering locations across the borough. Monitored 24/7, Knowsley Council’s security control room have a direct link to Merseyside Police and can work with officers to ensure deployment to incidents as they happen.

If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour or are a victim of a crime you are encouraged to report this to Merseyside Police via 101 or online https://www.merseyside.police.uk/

If there is anything you would like to discuss in confidence with our Crime and Communities Team please email Safer.Knowsley@knowsley.gov.uk