THE borough council stands ready to slap night-time curfews on problem youngsters if necessary.
Last Wednesday, the Government introduced new legislation giving councils tougher powers to defend communities from anti-social behaviour.
They were already able to apply for curfew orders on children under 10, although none has ever been sought.
But now the scheme has been extended to youths up to the age of 15, with orders applying between 9pm and 6am and lasting for up to 90 days.
Council leader Fred Venables said: 'As far as this community is concerned, procedures are in place to use this legislation when appropriate.
'In June last year the council signed a protocol to be used in seeking anti-social behaviour orders under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
'It was part of a wider crime and disorder strategy shared with the county council and police. The Act allows authorities to seek to use either of two distinct orders, covering either anti-social behaviour or a local curfew.
'The former applies to a named individual or named individuals, the latter to a named area. A task force of officers has power to initiate formal legal action when appropriate.'
Inspector Mark Tasker, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: 'If this is similar to the previous curfew scheme then there is a long process to getting one imposed and it requires the approval of the Home Secretary.
'There are a number of steps that a local authority or the police have to go through to be successful. And they also have to work with local agencies and the community.
'There are obviously reasons why no curfews have yet been implemented. At a guess I would say it is because of all the consultation involved as well as the other possible remedies that are available. The curfew is really seen as a last step when all else has failed.'
He added: 'The consultation process is not only a matter for the police. For example, where would we take the children if there parents aren't at home?
Therefore, we would need to work with social services to look at accommodation. The drain on resources could be a problem for all concerned.
There has to be planning.
'However, anything which restores the quality of life to the local community is a good idea. And any further measures the police can use are helpful.'