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Progress report on town centre crime

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CRIME, disorder, drinking and anti-social behaviour are important issues for Warrington, affecting the image of the town, council chiefs have been told.
To do nothing to tackle these issues is not an option, according to strategic director, environment and regeneration Andy Farrall.
The report, to the council’s executive board, outlines progress on the 10-point anti-alcohol action plan approved by the council earlier this year.
Council leader Ian Marks noted the report coincided with the first anniversary of the murder of Garry Newlove.
He said the board extended its sympathy to Mr Newlove’s widow, Helen and her family.
“We acknowledge that Helen Newlove is a force for good in the town and we are committed to working with her and other partners in the future,” he said.
Mr Farrall said the majority of the 10 points in the action plan were being progressed.
Two were of particular note.
1 The establishment of a dedicated neighbourhood policing unit for the town centre, which was taking a far more robust attitude towards disorder and was making a “real difference” to behaviour in the town centre.
2 A more integrated approach towards regulation and enforcement by the council and police, leading to reviews of licensed premises, closre of premises and reduction of hours at various clubs and bars.
A partnership steering group has been set up consisting of councillors and key officers of the council and police, linked to the Warrington Drug and Alcohol Action Team which was working on an alcohol harm reduction strategy.
Coun Liz Smith, executive member for neighbourhoods and communities, said police action in warning potential troublemakers to “go home and behave themselves” was proving effective. She had not heard of anyone being cautioned twice.
Referring to the decision to close Bridge Street to traffic on weekend evenings, she said the aim was to reduce the risk of accidents.
“When you see the videos of people milling around in the street it is a miracle we haven’t had more accidents,” she said.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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