Nuisance teen jailing ‘a warning to others’

Sgt Mark Douglas, of Leyland Police.
Sgt Mark Douglas, of Leyland Police.
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A nuisance teenager’s jailing is a message to others involved in criminal and anti-social behaviour, warn police.

Lee Ashton, 19, received a three-month prison sentence when he appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court.

Sergeant Mark Douglas, of the Leyland Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “Lee’s got a history. He came to our attention for being involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal behaviour.

“He’s got a history of stealing pedal bikes from businesses, carrying out public order offences, stealing motor vehicles and other offences.

“His anti-social behaviour and criminality has centred around the Wade Hall area and McDonald’s in Leyland town centre. Due to the level of his criminality, he was taken to court and sent to prison for three months for theft and breach of a suspended sentence.

“As a result of that and other criminality before that, we applied to the court for a criminal behaviour order.

“The court granted the order for three years.”

The conditions are that Ashton:

l Cannot act or incite others to act in an anti-social manner in the Leyland area.

l Cannot enter an area of Wade Hall in Leyland

l Cannot enter Churchill retail park.

l Is prohibited from being in a public place with four other named individuals who are all under 18.

Sergeant Douglas said: “If the order is breached, Ashton can be sentenced up to five years in prison.

“This also follows on from another order we’ve got.

“Another male, who due to his age we can’t name, is also prohibited from acting in an anti-social manner and prohibited from associating with five named individuals in a public place. A curfew was also imposed on that case.”

Sergeant Douglas said: “We are pleased with the court’s action in relation to both of these and the orders will be robustly enforced.

“We would also like the public’s co-operation as regards any breaches of the orders or any other anti-social behaviour matters.

“If people are suffering from anti-social behaviour and their lives are being made a misery, we need to do something about it because we need to take action on it.

“The public can report issues to us by ringing 101.”

He said: “Obviously we’ve had anti-social behaviour problems in Leyland.

“Everybody suffers with anti-social behaviour and Leyland is no different to that.

“But the approach I’ve taken since I’ve come in is, we need to clamp down on this behaviour and criminality.

“That’s what the public wants us to do because we’ve got a lot of complaints over this kind of behaviour.”

He said police would target the issue in a number of ways, such as:

l Increasing police presence in areas to identify offenders.

l Dealing with offenders.

l Using prohibitive court orders which the courts are granting.

l Referring young people into early action programmes - particularly those who are just starting to offend, or at the lower end of offending, in an effort to divert them away and educate them on how their behaviour affects other people.

He added: “Not only do we clampdown on anti-social behaviour itself, but tackle the causes of ant-social behaviour.”

He said these measures included:

l Conducting operations on the sale of alcohol to persons under 18.

l Enforcing licensing conditions to ensure premises, such as takeaways and public houses don’t operate outside their licences or operate without one.

He said: “As the license conditions are in place, the aim is to reduce crime and disorder and to protect children and the wider community from nuisance.”

A recent example was Waseem Wajid, the owner of Leyland Kebab House, Chapel Brow, who pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates Court last month to operating without a licence.

He was ordered to pay a £250 fine; £85 costs; £25 victim support fee; and £150 criminal court charge.

“It followed a police operation looking at numerous licensed premises around Leyland,” explained sergeant Douglas.

He continued; “We are also deploying officers to speak with young people, advise them on diversionary activity and other activity available to them, because we regularly have people saying there’s nothing for young people and kids to do around Leyland - which I can assure people is not the case.

“We have the Air Cadets, Army Cadets, youth football teams, at least three youth clubs and scout groups, to name but a few.”