Dispersal Zones to be introduced in Rock Ferry and Birkenhead this weekend

Officers in Wirral will be introducing two Dispersal Zones this weekend as a response to anti-social behaviour in North Birkenhead and Rock Ferry.

Both will commence at 3pm on Saturday 30 October and continue until 11.59pm on Sunday 31 October.

The first is for North Birkenhead, covering the area on the first map, and is a response to anti-social behaviour in the llchester Square, Laird Street and Birkenhead Park areas within the zone.

The second is for Rock Ferry, covering the area on the second map, after reports of anti-social behaviour including fires in the Victoria Park and Mersey Park areas.

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 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.

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.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Community Policing Chief Inspector Tom Welch said, “We’re introducing these Dispersal Zones as an extra response to support members of the public and businesses who have reported these issues.

“This behaviour will not be tolerated and extra officers will remain in the area to disperse any groups, and to provide reassurance to the vast majority of law-abiding people who live and work in those areas. Dispersal Zones are an additional power which we use appropriately and when required.

“We know that at this time of year we can see increased anti-social behaviour and arson, and we have plans in place for this. No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time. This will be one of the busiest periods for the emergency services, and there are some steps we can all take to make things easier. 

“Bring your wheelie bins in, as well as those of anyone elderly or vulnerable where you live, which is a simple way to limit the opportunities people have to recklessly set them alight, which can have devastating consequences.

“We know the vast majority of young people have respect for other people and their property, but we know the behaviour of some can go beyond fun, and the impact it can have on others can be more than those involved realise.

“There could be serious or even fatal consequences for young people throwing or attempting to light fireworks in public, and throwing objects at houses, cars and shops.

“I would urge those young people who may be considering behaving in an unacceptable way to think about what you are doing and how you may make other people feel. How would you feel if a member of your own family was too frightened to leave their own home or walk down the street? Under no circumstances is it ok to throw things at people or their homes, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people. 

“There are so many more worthwhile things to do at this time, so have a look at events and activities where you live.

“The support of parents and guardians is also vital at this time of year. Together, we can minimise the risk – don’t let children hang around the streets with nowhere to go and understand who they are with and what they are doing.”

Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can pass any information on anti-social behaviour via our 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

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