A PLAN to combat anti-social behaviour in Stalybridge has been put in place and appears to be working well.
There has been no reports of further trouble after Councillor David Sweeton summoned a meeting with police and council officers to thrash out a solution to problems caused by youths in the town centre.
Police have found additional resources to fund extra patrols at weekends to ensure there is no repeat of the trouble that came to a head in late September.
Cllr Sweeton said: “I have not heard of any other problems and long may it continue.
“The good news is that the problems were taken seriously and, thanks to the co-operation of all the parties, a solution was found.
“Extra police patrols were seen as a priority and we have more bobbies on the beat as well seconding a second rapid response van.”
Cllr Sweeton, the neighbourhood co-ordinator for the east of the borough, had earlier vowed to get tough with troublemakers who caused mayhem in the town centre.
The councillor, who serves on the Dukinfield/Stalybridge ward, warned: “We will not be taking a softly, softly approach and will be arresting the hard core who are causing problems.
“We have drawn up a plan that includes dispersal orders to cover Stalybridge and Ashton.
“It is a bold move and should not frighten those going about their everyday life. It should only frighten the troublemakers.”
Cllr Sweeton added police have “very good CCTV images” of individuals who caused the problems as well as being given a number of names.
After recent trouble – including incidents at Tesco’s and Stalybridge railway station – Cllr Sweeton arranged an emergency meeting of police and council officers who included Kevin Garside, the borough’s integrated neighbourhood services manager.
He described the 90-minute meeting at Ashton police headquarters as productive as issues were discussed and a “several-pronged plan” put in place to move forward.
The new strategy to combat anti-social behaviour is also likely to see headteachers taking to the streets alongside police, something that has worked well in Mossley.
Cllr Sweeton explained: “The head at Mossley Hollins High School went out with police on a Friday night and identified kids who were causing problems. And the children were terrified when they saw him.
“We will be looking to replicate that with Stalybridge headteachers and school representatives, another good move.”
Cllr Sweeton added: “It is a several -pronged attack, both for the short and longer term and we are taking this extremely seriously.
“We have achieved a fantastic result following the meeting and we should have more of them in the future if problems arise.”
In the last incident, youths caused problems at Tesco where staff were abused, a fire extinguisher stolen and set off while a firework was ignited in the exhaust of a car belonging to an employee.
There was also an incident outside the railway station in which adults and youths were involved in a scuffle.