Dispersal zone introuduced in St Helens town centre this weekend

Police have introduced a dispersal zone in St Helens town centre today (Friday, November 19) in response to continued reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 2:41 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 2:42 pm
The dispersal zone area

The order runs from today at 4.30pm and lasts for 48 hours. Officers will be in the area to provide a visible presence and deal with any incidents.

The dispersal zone covers the area of Cansfield Street, Hall Street, Shaw Street, Chalon Way East, The Range car park, A58 Linkway West, A571 King Street and College Street.

The order comes under Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014, which gives police officers and police community support traffic officers powers to direct people they suspect are causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance or anti-social behaviour to members of the public to leave a designated area and not return for up to 48 hours.

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Under the legislation, officers have the power to seize any item used in the commission of anti-social behaviour.

If someone has previously been told to leave the area by an officer but then returns, an offence would be committed, which they may ultimately be arrested for.

Community Inspector Emma Haffenden said: “We have introduced this dispersal zone as an extra precaution in response to a recent increase in crime and anti-social behaviour in the area by people gathering in St Helens town centre.

“Recent incidents include assaults of police officers at Chalon Way and Claughton Street, possession of drugs and fighting at the St Helens bus depot and youths climbing on the roof of McDonalds and threatening a delivery driver.

“This behaviour will not be tolerated and extra officers will remain in St Helens town centre to disperse any groups causing such incidents, and to provide reassurance to the vast majority of law-abiding people in the town.

“Such action isn’t about stopping anyone shopping or meeting up with friends in the town centre. It’s simply about taking action to stop reckless acts of anti-social behaviour to make sure that everyone can feel safe where they live.

“Rest assured, you can pass any information about anti-social behaviour in your community to us and we will take action.”

“If you witness any anti-social behaviour over the next 48 hours or have any information about such incidents, please contact or speak to our officers.”

Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can pass any information on anti-social behaviour via the social media desk @MerPolCC on Twitter or 'Merseyside Police Contact Centre' on Facebook. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

You can also follow @MerPolStHelens on Twitter and Facebook for updates and advice.