THE COUNCIL has been working alongside the police to secure the highest number of closure orders across Greater Manchester.

Over the past 12 months, neighbourhood police officers have supported the Community Resilience Team of Wigan Council in securing closure orders for 39 properties across the borough.

To date, this is the highest number of closure orders against properties across the whole of Greater Manchester in a year.

READ > Leigh among 'overlooked towns' which will get £20m funding

The closure orders have all been enforced due to anti-social behaviour that was impacting on the community, most commonly for drug related activities.

Closure orders mean that a property will remain closed for 3 months, although the council can apply for a further 3-month extension if they are concerned that the crime, nuisance and disorder will continue.

However, because of ongoing issues at certain properties, three have since been repossessed through the Courts meaning that those tenants cannot return, while an additional six addresses are pending court hearings for repossession.

This is another tool used by the recently launched Place and Community Safety partnership – a multi-agency partnership established to tackle the organised criminal networks across Wigan and Leigh and help communities feel safer.

Superintendent Ian Jones from GMP Wigan district said: “A lot of these properties are being exploited by gangs and used as drugs dens, which in turn attracts more criminality, and causes serious harm to our communities. Working with our partners, we are committed to ensuring Wigan is utterly hostile to criminal gangs.

“Our communities tell us that the anti-social behaviour linked to these properties is adversely affecting their ability to live their lives and feel safe in their homes. This feedback is really important to us, and I hope these closure orders send a clear message that we will listen – and we will act.”

Councillor Dane Anderton, portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies said: "Through the Place and Community Safety partnership, we are proud to work alongside GMP. The enforcement of closure orders illustrates our firm stance against those who breach regulations and cause unnecessary and unfair distress to other residents.

"We encourage residents to report anti-social behaviour so we can take action to address those concerns, ensuring everyone in Wigan Borough can feel safe on the streets they call home." 

If you feel that there are criminal activities taking place in your neighbourhood, police advise residents to dial 101 or speak via the Live Chat function on the website here.

Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, members of the community can engage via Bee In the Loop, which is a direct line to the neighbourhood policing team in each district within Greater Manchester. Just sign up to to receive free text or email alerts to keep you in the loop about what is happening on your street and in your local