Merseyside Police has introduced a Dispersal Zone in West Kirby today (Friday 7 April) in response to an increase in reports of criminal and anti-social behaviour in the area.
The order runs from today at 3pm and will last for 48 hours until 2.59pm on Sunday 9 April.
Patrols will be stepped up in the area and officers from the Merseyside Police mounted section will be on hand to provide a visible presence and deal with any incidents.
The dispersal zone covers Lingdale Road, Bridge Road, Bridge Court, South Road, Albert Road and South Parade. It also encompasses West Kirby Concourse, West Kirby train station, Ashton Park and Banks Road.
There have been increased reports of anti-social behaviour in the area caused by large groups of youths.
During one incident yesterday (Thursday 6 April), it was reported that a male ran into the road on Banks Road, forcing a car to stop, before jumping on the windscreen.
Police are in the early stages of investigating this particular incident and are appealing for anyone who witnessed it to get in touch.
On Tuesday 4 April, police received a report of disorder in Ashton Park and arrested a 17-year-old male. He has been released under investigation.
Community Chief Inspector Tom Welch said, “I have proactively put this dispersal in place in response to reports involving anti-social behaviour and criminality in the area.
“This includes youths riding bikes, behaving in an anti-social manner, damaging property and committing violent offences. This is having a significant impact on businesses, residents and people visiting West Kirby or shopping in the town due to their intimidating unacceptable behaviours.
“Patrols have been increased in the area to deal with any issues, and this order is an additional measure to prevent any criminality from taking place.
“This dispersal zone is to give officers in the area extra powers to approach people they suspect may be there to commit anti-social behaviour or other crimes.
“This order is also to ensure residents and businesses are not subjected to any such behaviour, and I would ask people to continue reporting any concerns and we will take action.
“We will be in the area to provide reassurance to those people who simply want to shop or visit our neighbourhood 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.”
The Dispersal Zone 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.
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.