REGULAR patrols in Leigh town centre have provided a safety boost to help residents enjoy public spaces without anti-social behaviour, the council has said.

Wigan Council officers have teamed up with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police in recent months to carry out visible patrols around the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) areas within Wigan and Leigh town centres.

The initiative has followed the renewal of both towns’ Public Space Protection Orders, with numerous incidents of anti-social behaviour reported in Leigh town centre in recent years.

Public Space Protection Orders provide extra powers for local authorities to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and the council has announced that it will be further expanding its safety marshal scheme.

READ > Young woman dies after being hit by car on the East Lancs

Leigh Journal: Safety marshalls were deployed in Leigh in OctoberSafety marshalls were deployed in Leigh in October (Image: Wigan Council)
Councillor Dane Anderton, portfolio holder for police, crime, and civil contingencies said: “The safety of our residents is paramount and everyone should be entitled to enjoy our public spaces all year round.

“The PSPOs allow the Community Safety Partnership to target issues such as the use of intoxicating substances, crackdown on anti-social behaviour and tackle illegal begging through either fixed penalty notices or prosecutions.

“These patrols reassure our residents that we take our responsibility to ensure our local areas are safe places to live, visit and work very seriously.”

The regular patrols see Wigan Council’s community resilience officers work alongside GMP’s neighbourhood teams and can lead to arrests for persistent anti-social behaviour.

Safety marshals have been deployed during the evening in Wigan and Atherton town centres, and during the daytime in Leigh since October, while engagement work is also undertaken to speak with residents about community safety.

Leigh Journal: The council has announced it will be expanding the schemeThe council has announced it will be expanding the scheme (Image: Wigan Council)
Neighbourhood Inspector Sam Davies added: "There has been significant progress by the partnership in enforcing the PSPO in our town centres and the new multi-agency patrols are having a positive impact within our communities.

"We want to send a clear message that anti-social behaviour has a serious, detrimental impact on people who live and work within our communities and it will not be tolerated.

"Our work very much continues but I want to reassure members of the public that we are committed to making positive changes in the short, medium and long term and initiatives like this are testament to our joined-up aims."

Councillor Anderton added: “The safety marshals offer reassurance and a calming presence and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback about their impact. This further rollout is good news as they continue to make a difference."

Safety marshals provide a highly visible presence and are there to offer advise and support if you need a helping hand or if something doesn't feel quite right. If you’re in immediate danger, dial 999.