POLICE have secured two further closure orders against shops on Orford lane in Warrington linked to anti-social behaviour, the sale of illicit cigarettes and dangerous parking – making a total of six closure orders this year.
Over the past 12 months officers have received multiple reports of youths loitering around a number of shops in the Orford Lane area, attempting to pressurise residents into purchasing cigarettes.
There have also been reports of dangerous parking and anti-social behaviour from adults and young people in the street.
On Tuesday 16 November, officers from Warrington Problem Solving Team executed warrants at two of the stores.
Approximately 1,800 counterfeit cigarettes and around 50 packs of counterfeit tobacco were seized as a result of the raids.
48-hour closure notices were imposed on the stores, and on Thursday 18 November, Warrington Magistrates’ Court granted an application for three-month closure orders against both stores under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Inspector Danny Haddock, of Warrington Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “In total we have now closed down six shops in the Orford Lane area due to their involvement in illegal activities.
“This included reports of young people pestering people to buy tobacco products from the convenience stores and verbally abusing those who refused. We’ve also had groups of people loitering around the shop and dangerous parking on the road due to the amount of people going to the premises.
“These closure orders form part of our continued efforts to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour in Orford Lane area, which has previously led to some businesses in the street closing down and some residents wanting to move away.
“People living and working in the area should not have to put up with such behaviour that has a detrimental effect on your quality of life.
“The latest closure orders makes it illegal for anyone to be at the One Stop Shop (160 Orford Lane) and Warrington Mini Market (123 Orford Lane) for the next three months, and we will continue to take action against those who engage in criminal activity and fuel anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“Such behaviour will not be tolerated here at Warrington LPU and we will continue to do all that we can to make our town an even safer place to live, work and visit.
“I hope that the action we have taken in Orford Lane encourages members of the local community to inform us of any concerns they have regarding criminal or anti-social behaviour where they live or work.”
Anyone with information regarding anti-social behaviour or counterfeit tobacco products in Warrington or anywhere else in Cheshire is asked to call 101, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.