New proposals described as Wirral’s ‘biggest crackdown on yobs so far’ after problems at Wirral’s coast have been welcomed by residents and councillors.
As lockdown eased, large crowds started gathering at The Dips in Wallasey, leading to anti-social behaviour, litter and violence.
This led to a campaign supported by more than 300 residents that saw Merseyside Police impose Dispersal Orders over three successive weekends in a bid to tackle the disturbances.
Now Wirral Council is going further and is about to begin a 14 day consultation on a wide-ranging Public Spaces Protection Order (‘PSPO’) for the Dips.
The Order, drawn up after meetings between council officers, police and local councillors will also, for the time, give police and council enforcement officers power to combat the use of so-called ‘hippy crack’ – nitrous oxide canisters used to give a ‘legal high’.
Councillor Ian Lewis said: “Residents of Wallasey faced appalling scenes at The Dips after the first weekend of drink and drug-fuelled anti-social behaviour.
“For the yobs and slobs responsible, the Dips are probably far enough away from home for whatever mess they left behind not to be a problem to them. That’s assuming they don’t live like that in their own houses.
“Those of us who turned up to help remove the rubbish could see how it wasn’t left by just one or two groups. Broken bottles, cans, waste and gas canisters were strewn across the entire area.
“With the support and help of local residents, the Council is now about to come down hard on that kind of behaviour and this can’t come soon enough.
“The message is simple – respect the area, or pay the fine.”
The Order will give the police and local authority the power to issue fines to anyone breaching the following:
- No group consisting of four or more persons shall congregate between the hours of 10:30pm and 04:00am within the designated restricted area without the written authorisation of Wirral Council (excluding keep fit groups, dog walkers, sports teams, families, community groups, unless these groups are causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to local residents or other open space users)
- No person shall urinate or defecate or empty any portable toilet cassette within the Restricted Area except in a toilet or premises designated for that purpose.
- No unauthorised motor vehicles (including motor car, motor cycles, mopeds and scooters but excluding disability buggies or motorised wheelchairs) shall enter the grassed area within the designated restricted area without the written authority of Wirral council.
- No person shall drink, inhale, inject, or otherwise use or be in possession of any intoxicating substances or “legal highs” or drug paraphernalia including nitrous oxide canisters within the restricted area.
- No person shall dispose of any litter or waste in the designated restricted area other than in the bins provided.
- No person shall refuse to stop drinking or refuse to surrender any containers (sealed or unsealed) which are believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by an authorised officer in the restricted area.
The three local Conservative Councillors – Ian Lewis, Lesley Rennie and Paul Hayes – are urging Wallasey residents to take part in the consultation.
Click on this link to have your say: www.wirral.gov.uk/pspo (starting Monday)
Once the two-week consultation period has ended and any comments assessed, it is hoped the Order will be in place in mid August.