Wirral Council is consulting on plans to introduce temporary Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in two areas of the borough that have been affected by crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Dips in New Brighton is one of the areas where an order is being considered, while the other one takes in two areas in West Kirby – the beach and Cubbins Green.

Since the introduction of government lockdown restrictions due to the Covid-19, criminal offences and complaints of anti-social behaviour have increased dramatically in these areas.

Council officers have been working closely with Merseyside Police on specific operations to tackle problems when they occur and in recent weeks and the Police have implemented Dispersal Zones in an effort to reduce problems.

However, Dispersal Zones are short-term solutions often lasting only a few days, which is why the council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team is now looking to implement PSPOs to give enforcement agencies wider-reaching and longer-term powers to take action if further issues occur. If implemented, the Orders will be in place for two years.

Cllr Tom Usher, Cabinet member for Children, Families and Education, said: “We want to protect the quality of life of the residents who live in these areas, and would like to hear what they think about our plans.

"It is disappointing that we have to seek these powers in any part of the Wirral but the problems have developed – particularly in these coastal areas – and we want to take action for the good of our residents.

"Please let us know what your views are so that we can make the strongest possible case.”

In the past four months, there has been a total of 121 reports made to Merseyside Police of anti-social behaviour in and around West Kirby beach/Cubbins Green and 112 at the Dips in New Brighton.

Councillor Ian Lewis said: “Residents of Wallasey faced appalling scenes at The Dips after the first weekend of drink and drug-fuelled anti-social behaviour.

“For the yobs and slobs responsible, the Dips are probably far enough away from home for whatever mess they left behind not to be a problem to them. That’s assuming they don’t live like that in their own houses.

“Those of us who turned up to help remove the rubbish could see how it wasn’t left by just one or two groups. Broken bottles, cans, waste and gas canisters were strewn across the entire area.

“With the support and help of local residents, the Council is now about to come down hard on that kind of behaviour and this can’t come soon enough.

“The message is simple – respect the area, or pay the fine.”

Complaints have included groups acting in an intimidating manner, alcohol misuse, littering, use of nitrous oxide, urination/defecation in public areas and alcohol related disorder, including criminal damage and violence offences.

Cllr Julie McManus, Cabinet member for Community Services, added: “This anti-social behaviour is a nuisance and annoyance to members of the public who visit and live in the area.

"The action we are looking to take is our best chance at giving the police and other agencies responsible for community safety the powers to take immediate and robust action to tackle problems.

"That way, we are able to protect local communities and ensure that these popular spots can be enjoyed by everyone.”

The consultation period runs for two weeks from today (July 27). For full details and a link to comment on the plans, visit wirral.gov.uk/pspo.

Alternately you can submit comments on the proposals by post to Wirral Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Wallasey Police Station, Manor Road, Wallasey, CH44 1DA.