Paul Burns advises and represents Wigan Council in multiple without notice anti-social behaviour injunction applications
March 24, 2016
In one of the first without notice mixed age group injunction applications brought before the civil courts in the North a group comprising one adult and youths aged between 16 and 17 years old have now been issued with final injunctions and powers of arrest under Section 1 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The group’s anti-social and criminal conduct was centered in the Atherton area of Wigan. Proceedings were brought by Wigan Council working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, local residents and business owners. After without notice injunctions and powers of arrest were issued on 11th February 2016 the cases were listed before the court for on notice hearings to review the cases. At the on notice hearing in March 2016 each Respondent admitted all conduct alleged by Wigan Council between December 2015 and February 2016 and in consequence each Respondent was made the subject of a final injunction and power of arrest. The injunctions and powers of arrest for each of the youths were made for the maximum term available in law.
Each injunction includes an exclusion zone covering the area where the conduct complained of was concentrated. In addition the injunctions prohibit members of the group from associating together in a public place or engaging in conduct which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress within sight or hearing of any person in a wider area of Atherton. The group have also been prohibited from contacting or approaching (directly or indirectly) the named complainant witnesses at any time.
“We were preparing for on notice injunctions in this case but in view of an escalation in incidents we needed to move swiftly to secure multiple without notice injunctions in this case. The injunctions have had a really positive impact on the community so far, reducing the number of complaints to almost nil in the past month after significant anti-social behaviour and criminal conduct by this group before then. We are delighted that we were able to move from without notice injunctions to final injunctions and powers of arrest within less than one month. A considerable amount of work went into these cases. We were ably assisted by Paul Burns who guided our pre-litigation case preparation and presented robust and focussed submissions at the without notice and on notice hearings”.
Paul Burns commented: “This is an excellent outcome for Wigan Council. Commencing without notice proceedings and then successfully concluding each of these cases with final orders so quickly shows just how effective careful and focused planning, preparation and presentation can be in these sorts of cases”.
Paul Burns is Head of the Local Government and Social Housing Department at Exchange Chambers.