Over the last two months Lancashire Police have interacted and dealt with over 400 individuals for anti-social behaviour (ASB) offences as part of Op Centurion – Lancashire Police’s campaign to tackle this type of offending in Lancashire communities.
Operation Centurion was launched in July and backed by Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden and £2m of extra funding secured from the Government’s new Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan. This operation has seen extra police patrols in ASB hotspots across the county and tough action being taken against offenders by Police and partner agencies who use the full force of the law – as well as civil powers – to protect local communities. The first six hotspots which have seen additional dedicated patrols are areas within Preston, Chorley, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Padiham and Accrington.
The officers and PCSOs working in our communities have been supported by our new crime fighting team called the ASB Prevention and Problem-Solving Command; a team of specialist officers including civil enforcement, designing-out crime and business and rural crime experts - the team work with police officers, councils, housing associations and key partners throughout Lancashire to shut down drug dens, and secure arrests for those involved in a variety of offences from drug dealing to criminal damage.
Since the launch on 2nd July, Lancashire Police can confirm
- 130 people have been arrested for offences relating to drug supply offences.
- 278 people have been arrested for criminal damage.
- 37 civil orders have been issued.
These include a closure order in Chorley where a take-away, which was the subject of persistent anti-social behaviour, was handed a three-month closure order. Working closely with Chorley Council, resulted in the closure order at Mr Zees takeaway on Chapel Street.
Additionally, a closure order was carried out at an address in Padiham where significant disturbances caused by the individual inhabiting the property was affecting residents in the area. With the help of Calico Homes and the affected residents, legal action was taken. A closure order was granted at Burnley Magistrates Court, which mandated that the tenant had restrictions for a three-month period providing respite for those impacted by the actions of this individual.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Procter said:
“Since the launch of Op Centurion our officers and staff have delivered an unwavering commitment to tackling ASB head on and we will continue to take action against those few who engage in this type of behaviour. Over 400 people have been arrested since July across Lancashire and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to reduce and put a stop to this behaviour.
“The people of Lancashire have told us that ASB is important to them, and we will continue to show our communities that we listen and will take action to support their right to feel safe in their homes and communities.”
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said:
"Tackling anti-social behaviour is a top priority in my Fighting Crime Plan and its fantastic to see the impact Op Centurion is already making across Lancashire after only eight weeks.
"The additional patrols I have been able to fund thanks to money I secured from the Government, together with the Constabulary's new ASB, Prevention and Problem-Solving Command are clearly working and it's great to see positive results week on week.
"With further Op Centurion hotspot areas still to be announced, I am pleased to say that this is only the beginning and residents can expect to see extra patrols in every district of the county, cracking down on ASB and making our communities safer."
A further eight hotspot areas are due to be announced in October 2023.
As part of the operation, the public are encouraged to continue to report incidents of ASB to the relevant organisation, details of which can be found: LancashireTacklingASB.co.uk.