CORRESPONDENT editor Tony Bugby joined Mossley police on a Friday anti-social behaviour patrol in the town.
The recent spike in incidents in Mossley has resulted in decisive action from the police.Six youths were recently handed contracts – a kind of anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) – and they are banned from congregating around various shops in the town.
In addition, Craig Kelly, 35, of Dean Street, Ashton, was released on bail until January 24 when he will appear at Tameside Magistrates Court charged with racially aggravated common assault, racially aggravated Public Order (4a) and theft.
The anti-social behaviour patrols were fronted by PC Martin Dench and PCSOs Karl Lisic and Wayne Gordon.
The latest was again joined by Stuart Marshall, Mossley Hollins High School headteacher.
There is usually a presence from local councillors but this time they were engaged with the general election.
The night began as I joined PCSOs Lisic and Gordon for a walk through Mossley Park in pitch black.
On a previous patrol, we stumbled across youngsters from Oldham taking drugs. This time the park was eerily deserted.While we were in the park, PC Dench and Stuart spent time visiting local shopkeepers who have been plagued by anti-social behaviour.
When we were reunited, it was down to Micklehurst where the lights switch-on was drawing to a close.
In a small town like Mossley, where everybody seems to know one another, this was the case.
The police officers knew most of the youngsters, encountering a handful previously through ‘low level anti-social behaviour’. Many were also known to Stuart as they were current or ex-pupils of Mossley Hollins.
When we were patrolling the streets, PC Dench would pull up whenever we encountered a group of youngsters.
When the window opened and Stuart leaned out, the children had the shock of their lives to see ‘Mr Marshall’ or ‘sir’. The expressions on their faces would have been television gold had cameras been present.
We headed to places where youngsters congregate in groups, primarily around shops in Mossley, Micklehurst and Carrbook.
We encountered one large group in Top Mossley. They were all pupils past and present from Mossley Hollins but they were having an innocent night out.
We were in radio contact with the police team from Ashton which carry out regular Friday night patrols.
They were in Mossley at the same time as ourselves to carry out routine spot checks at a couple of pubs.
Overall, though, it was one of the quieter Friday nights.
After Stuart and myself headed home after a couple of hours, the officers were back on patrol until midnight.
Stuart wrote about the night in Newsflash, Mossley Hollins High School’s weekly digital newsletter.
He said: “Working with PC Martin Dench and his PCSO colleagues Karl and Wayne, I was able to experience the role that these important people have in keeping our town safe and secure.
“During the patrol, I was delighted to meet several young people, both current and former pupils of Mossley Hollins High School. On each occasion, their manners were excellent. They showed a genuine interest in why I was there, speaking politely to myself and the police officers about their activities.
“Unfortunately, there is a report in the local press that there has been some anti-social behaviour in our village during the past few weeks.
“I am pleased to say this was not my experience on Friday with our young people perfectly demonstrating the Mossley Hollins way.
“We are proud of our community and as a school will continue to support the important work of the police service.
“Please help them by remaining aware of where your children are during evenings and weekends to ensure they are safe and well behaved, just like the children I met on Friday.”