County-Wide Ban For Teenage Yobs After Terror Reign

Three teenagers have been banned from entering shops and hanging around in groups in Cheshire as part of five-year Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).

Keegan Dignam (15) and Ian Bellagamba (19), both of Straker Avenue, and Daniel Dickinson (15), of Flint Court, all Ellesmere Port, are also banned from using anti-social behaviour anywhere in England and Wales after magistrates made them all subjects of five-year ASBOs.

The orders were granted last week at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston Magistrates’ Court at the request of police after they presented evidence to show the three youths have caused problems in the Overpool Road area for a number of years.

PC Rob Dalton, of the Ellesmere Port Community Action Team, said: “I’m sure the residents and businesses in this part of the Port will be delighted with this result. These individuals have persistently used anti-social, aggressive and unruly behaviour.

“The offences they have been linked to include criminal damage, under-age drinking, theft, arson and assault. We as police will not tolerate this and I’m pleased the courts have been supportive of an application which will help us put a stop to the behaviour.”

Strict conditions attached to the ASBOs have been fine-tuned to address the problems the youths have been creating and, as a result, they are banned from being in groups of three or more people, anywhere in Cheshire.

Their ASBOs state they are prohibited from “congregating in a group of three or more people (including the defendant) in an open public place in Cheshire other than for the purposes of spectating or playing at an organised sporting event or taking part in or as part of the audience of any other organised public event. The reference in foregoing ‘a group of three or more people’ does not include family members”.

This means if they are hanging around the street with two friends they are breaching their order.

The rules also detail the areas the youths cannot enter, namely the Overpool Road shops area, and a list of people they cannot contact or associate with.

Failing to comply with the rules of the order has severe consequences, including a custodial sentence.

Michelle Brown, ASBO co-ordinator based at Ellesmere Port Police Station, said: “The fact that we have been able to secure conditions which prohibit these individuals from gathering in groups in the community is a real step forward.

“The majority of problems these young people have been involved in have been caused when they are in groups and I’ve no doubt this condition, which applies to all of Cheshire, will be welcomed by the local community.

“This is a technique we are keen to develop and we are now looking at other ringleaders with a view to seeking ASBOs which stop them from gathering in groups.

“These orders are the result of a lot of hard work by all involved, especially those people who had the courage to come forward.

“I hope this result will give confidence to other residents to come forward in future. We won’t hesitate in applying for more orders in the Overpool Road area or, in fact, anywhere in the borough to send out a clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Plans are now in place to create anti-social behaviour awareness leaflets featuring the names of the individuals and the conditions of their orders.

The leaflets are used by many forces and have been used on numerous occasions throughout Cheshire. They are aimed at raising awareness of the orders so members of the public can help ensure they are effective.

An Anti-social Behaviour Order application was also made in respect of a 16-year-old girl from Ellesmere Port. The application was contested and a full hearing will take place on Wednesday, 18th April, at Chester and Ellesmere Port Magistrates’ Court.