Fighting back against yobs

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Police and council chiefs are claiming a major victory against yobbish behaviour.

They calm has returned to the streets of Atherton after a crackdown on an anti-social behaviour menace group there.

Wigan and Leigh Homes, the local authority and Greater Manchester Police collaborated to bring injunctions against the perpetrators and bring peace of mind to locals.

Police data shows that since the injunctions were taken out anti-social behaviour has plummeted by 35 per cent in the area where the group were at large.

It peaked last December and included congregating in large numbers in the early hours shouting, swearing, causing damage to bus stops as well as creating barriers in the roads causing hazards to road-users. And residents could not sleep due to the disturbances.

Court proceedings were brought and one adult and three youths were hit with injunctions banning them from congregating in Atherton and causing anti-social behaviour.

Since then two of the group have been arrested for breaching their injunctions. An 18-year-old was handed a six-week suspended prison sentence by Wigan County Court and a 17-year-old boy involved in the same incident also pleaded guilty and was given a curfew.

Intervention, such as warnings, acceptable behaviour contracts and working with parents and other services, also helped prevent a number of other youngsters committing further anti-social behaviour.

Insp Liz Sanderson said: “This anti-social behaviour has seriously affected the quality of life for many of the local residents of Atherton. We will continue to work together to deal swiftly and robustly with issues which affect our local communities and tackle anti-social behaviour.”

Janice Barton, chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Homes, said: “We are pleased for our residents that the action taken here has been successful. If any of our residents are experiencing difficulties with anti-social behaviour we would urge them to contact us via our website www.walh.co.uk or call 01942 489005.”