POLICE will step up their efforts to reduce disorder near the town centre by extending powers to break up groups who hang around the streets in an evening.

Senior officers introduced similar powers in St Helens earlier this year and will now bring in another section 30 dispersal order in the Union Street area.

It follows problems caused by yobs and vandals.

The designated area will run for six months from Monday, 30 June to Monday, December 29.

Neighbourhood Sergeant for St Helens, Lisa Mosquito, said: "We are determined to carry on with our efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour in the borough because local people consistently tell us it's something that is really important to them.

"We have received a number of reports recently about youths causing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the Union Street area and we will not tolerate a small minority of people intimidating residents.

"We are working hard with our partners, including the Council, to look at a range of measures to tackle the problem and the Section 30 order will help us to do this.

"The order will be regularly patrolled by officers who will be targeting people who are causing problems for local people and businesses.

"It's not aimed at the vast majority of law abiding people in St Helens."

It will cover the area bounded by and including:

  • Lord Street to Cowley Street
  • Cowley Street to College Street
  • College Street to Ward Street
  • Ward Street to North Road
  • North Road to Lord Street

The order will be in force every day between 5pm and midnight.

It gives police powers to break up groups if officers have reasonable grounds for believing that the presence or behaviour of two or more people is likely to result in others being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed.