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Posted on 14:52:00 on 18th May 2017

Police are concerned about a rise in incidents of youth disorder and crime in the Wigton area of West Cumbria and are seeking the help of the local community to address it.

Officers are responding to an increasing number of reports of large groups of youths aged between 12 and 17 who are gathering in the town centre most evenings and in particular on Water Street car park where they are also using vehicles in an anti-social and dangerous manner.

Such behaviour is causing distress for local residents and businesses in the town centre and causing valuable police resources to be diverted.

The incidents reported are increasing in severity and crimes of theft, criminal damage, drug use and arson have also been recorded and remain under active investigation.

Allerdale Rural Neighbourhood Police Team Inspector Richard Smillie said: “We are committed to tackling the issues and have adopted a range of proactive policing measures in the areas affected.

“We are continuing to deploy officers wearing body cameras to capture the behaviour of those responsible and anyone found to be committing crime or causing anti-social behaviour will be dealt with robustly and if necessary taken home or arrested”. 

Dispersal Orders have been utilised on several occasions over the last three weeks to reduce the likelihood of crime or disorder. This power is not used lightly however it has been felt necessary and will continue to be appropriately used to disperse those youths who continue to behave in an unacceptable manner. Police also have powers to seize vehicles which are being driven in a careless or inconsiderate manner.

The local policing team continues to work closely with partner agencies, including Wigton Town Council, Wigton Youth Station, and Nelson Thomlinson School to resolve the issues and is appreciative of the support offered.  

Community Sergeant Gillian Atkinson is appealing to parents to assist police in tackling the issue by reminding parents of their responsibility to know where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing, in order to keep them safe.

Sgt Atkinson said: “Criminal or anti-social behaviour can lead to young people being arrested and prosecuted resulting in convictions which can have a serious detrimental effect on young people’s future life choices which I am sure no parent or young person wants”.  

Please help us to help you by reporting all incidents.

Police can be contacted by emailing 101emails@cumbria.police.uk or calling 101. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress always call 999.

Alternatively please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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