Merseyside Police is introducing a Dispersal Zone in Birkenhead town centre today, Thursday 8 December, in response to an increase in reports of criminal and anti-social behaviour in the area.
The order runs from today at 5pm and will last for 48 hours until 5pm on Saturday 10 December. Officers will be in the area to provide a visible presence and deal with any incidents.
The dispersal zone covers Borough Road, Argyle Street, Conway Street, Europa Boulevard, Price Street, Watson Street, Conway Street, Park Road East, Park Road South, Alvanley Place, Grange Road West, and Whetstone Lane.
It will also cover the roads footpaths and pavements up to the boundaries of private dwellings along the edge of any boundary roads on the pictured map.
The order comes under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour & Policing Act 2014, which gives police officers and police community support traffic officers powers to direct people who are engaging in antisocial behaviour or are likely to become involved in such incidents. These powers will not be used for anyone visiting the area and going about their daily business.
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.
Community Policing Inspector Peter Rexwinkel said, “During the last two weeks there have been multiple reports to Merseyside Police regarding anti-social behaviour and criminality in Birkenhead Town Centre. They relate to large groups of teenagers involved in criminal damage offences, arson and Public Order offences that have caused harassment, alarm and distress to residents, businesses and people working in the area.
“Despite increased patrols in the area, these incidents are still occurring.
“This order has therefore been enforced to ensure residents and businesses are not subjected to such further behaviour, and I would ask people to continue reporting any concerns so we can take action.
“We have introduced this dispersal zone to give officers in the area extra powers to approach people they suspect may be there to commit anti-social behaviour or other crimes.
“We will be in the area to provide reassurance to those people who simply want to shop or visit the town centre without having to be confronted with this behaviour.
“I would urge parents and guardians to know where young people in your care are, to further assist us in dealing with those who cause trouble.
“If you witness any anti-social behaviour or have any information about such incidents, please contact or speak to our officers and we will take action.”
Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can pass any information on anti-social behaviour via the Merseyside Police social media desk @MerPolCC on Twitter or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook.
You can also contact the independent charity Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information
You can also follow @MerPolWirral on Twitter and Facebook for updates and advice.