Police have vowed to ensure the town centre is a “safe place to visit” after violent disorder among youths broke out in Bury last week.
Last Thursday, a dispersal order in Bury, giving police extra powers to deal with problems, was granted until Friday after reports of a large group of young people fighting.
Several arrests were made last week and officers are determined to keep up efforts to reduce crime in the town centre, which has reduced by 20 per cent since Operation Heartbeat – set up to tackle anti-social behaviour – was launched in September last year.
Partnered with the council’s anti-social behaviour team, Heartbeat involves a “concentrated, high visibility patrol plan” of the town centre.
Reflecting on the action taken last week, Chief Inspector for neighbourhood and partnership for Bury town centre, Samantha Goldie, said: “This use of a dispersal order is a really effective tactic used to prevent incidents of crime and disorder.
“This was evident when one was used between Thursday, October 20 over to Friday, October 21, when a number of incidents were reported in quick succession about youth disorder.
“Officers were quick to respond to these incidents and several arrests were made, the dispersal order was effective and no further incidents took place.”
She added: “I’d like to reassure our communities that Bury town centre is a safe place to visit and our commitment to reduce incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour will continue through Operation Heartbeat.
“We can confidently say that Bury town centre is one of the safest in Greater Manchester, because we use legislation such as this to nip anti-social behaviour and disorder in the bud.
“I am delighted to report that since the operation has been running, there has been a 20 per centre reduction in incidents in Bury town centre.
“While this is a great reduction, officers are committed to improving this and will be using a range of tactics to achieve this.
“One such tactic is the use of dispersal orders where, of course, it is proportionate and necessary to do so.”
Another police operation will also begin in the coming weeks as Christmas approaches.
Chief Insp Goldie said: “As we approach the festive period, Operation Dasher will be introduced, which will see additional patrols in the shopping areas of Bury town centre.
“Finally, I would encourage anybody who sees our patrols to stop and have a chat with them, they are a friendly bunch who would love this opportunity.
“And if you are worried about anything happening in Bury town centre, you can contact Greater Manchester Police via gmp.police.uk or 101.
“In an emergency, always dial 999. Information about crime can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”