Merseyside Police is introducing a Dispersal Zone in Birkenhead today (Thursday 22 September) in response to an increase in reports of criminal and anti-social behaviour.
The order runs from today at 5pm and will last for 48 hours until 5pm on Saturday 24 September. 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.
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.
Wirral Sergeant Tim Cottrell said, “We have introduced this dispersal zone in response to several reports involving anti-social behaviour and criminality in the area, which is having a significant impact on businesses and people visiting Birkenhead or shopping in the town.
“These reports relate to large groups of youths who have been involved in criminal damage offences, arson and racially aggravated Public Order offences, causing harassment, alarm and distress to the community.
“So far we have received reports of robbery, youths carrying weapons, criminal damage, threats towards members of the public and the antisocial use of pedal cycles in the area.
“We simply will not stand back and allow those engaged in this type of criminality to continue. Therefore, 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.
“Our officers are also working with The Hive (@thehiveyz) a youth club in the area to offer young people new activities and opportunities they can get involved in.
“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.
“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.