People see benefits as police get tough
TWO months after a dispersal order was made for the Broadgreen and town centre areas, people are seeing the benefits as police officers use new powers.
The dispersal order came into effect in June, giving police powers to move on or arrest troublesome groups.
The measures are combined with regular patrols and warranted raids in an effort to tackle all areas of crime.
People in the area say they have seen a definite improvement and small successes.
Tanveer Afzal, 32, a halal butcher in Broadgreen, said while more work needed to be done, the benefits were being seen.
“We have definitely seen a small difference,” he said.
“I have been here for a long time, around 12 years, and when I first got here the prostitution was really bad. In the warm weather you could take a walk after eating and see the girls everywhere, but that doesn’t happen any more.
“Now I am quite satisfied it’s getting better. They are really in control as far as I can see. To the best of my knowledge it is users of drugs who get into crime and prostitution, so it is all connected.
“There are certainly more police on the streets, which is a great thing for people who like to keep their kids safe but maybe not so good for those doing illegal activities.
“For the people living here it is shameful to have this reputation, so at least something is being done. I have customers who want to buy halal meat but don’t really want to visit the area, so it affects trade too.
“Particularly in Broadgreen you can see the kids are playing out in the streets again, which you didn’t see before.”
Others in the area felt more needed to be done to get a handle on “night-time issues”.
Francisco Desa, 42, of Gladstone Street, said: “We do get a lot of people fighting and doing drugs but I can’t see anything being done about it day to day.
“There are a lot of police coming through every day but they need to be doing more patrolling in the night-time. That is the main issue because it is when all the problems happen.”
Pauline Freeman, 44, of Salisbury Street, said: “It is still the same as far as I am concerned, and we get problems down the alleyways. There are always a lot of police around but no more than usual, except when we have the big raids when they hit all the illegal tobacco.”
Broadgreen community beat manager PC Luke Atkinson said: “This legislation is a vital tool which gives PCs and PCSOs the power to deal with anti-social behaviour around the town centre,” he said.
“Perpetrators of anti-social behaviour in groups can be dispersed for up to 24 hours and failure to comply can and will lead to arrest.”