Police officers could soon use drones to follow yobs in a bid to combat antisocial behaviour that is plaguing parts of Halton.
The airborne devices could be used to photograph offenders and could even track them to their home address.
The suggestion comes after complaints of youths ‘ruling the streets’, a string of targeted bin fires and young people misusing drink and drugs at Upton Rocks Park in Widnes.
A petition – signed by 67 residents of nearby Ascot Gardens – was submitted to Halton Council, asking for ‘robust action’ to be taken around anti-social behaviour.
At a community knife sweep in the park earlier this year, a knife was recovered – as well as a ‘small quantity of articles that could be used as improvised weapons’.
When discussed at a safer policy meeting at Runcorn Town Hall last night, councillors and police agreed there had been a noticeable positive change at the park – but that antisocial behaviour is a wider problem.
Cllr Eddie Dourley said police officers are quick to reprimand youths engaging in antisocial behaviour, but that their parents often ‘don’t want to know’.
He said: “The police do their job but then [the youths’] families don’t want to know, and officers are left wringing their hands.”
Cllr Peter Lloyd-Jones suggested drones be used as a deterrent – as well as saying that members of the public have a role to play.
He said: “We live in dangerous times and we must take a more proactive role.
“We also need to stress to the public that they must play their part.”
PC Jane Tetlow confirmed Cheshire Police does have a supply of drones and that these could soon be used.