King Street needs major intervention to stem violence

Police at the scene of an assault on King Street
Police at the scene of an assault on King Street

A MAJOR intervention is needed to stem violence and chaos on Wigan’s King Street, council bosses have said.

Concerns are rife that a series of attacks over recent months at the town’s flagship night-spots are having a negative impact on the borough’s economy.

I drop people off in the town centre all the time and you can see some are going out looking for trouble

John Staziker

And a recent crisis summit between business owners, police and council officials has highlighted an urgent need for action to be taken, the Evening Post understands.

This follows a warning from the family of an assault victim urging residents to stay clear of the town centre street until steps have been taken to make it a safer place for revellers. Deputy leader of Wigan Council Coun David Molyneux said a masterplan for improvements is currently being worked on and details will be announced later this year.

He added: “King Street is an important part of our town centre but it is clear that significant intervention has to happen in order to create a high quality, safe environment for people of all ages to enjoy.

“We will be working hard with our partners over the coming months to formalise a blueprint to take King Street forward for the future.

“And we aim to make changes which will improve the attractiveness, prosperity and perception of Wigan town centre as a whole.”

A number of ambitious projects are tabled for the next couple of years aimed at bringing the town centre economy “alive after five” including plans for a hub of restaurants and bars at the Tower Grand site and a leisure complex at the revamped Galleries.

But a string of violent incidents linked to establishments on King Street risk tarnishing the town centre’s reputation even further.

In one example from last year, 19-year-old Kieron Stazicker had his jaw shattered in an unprovoked attack, the second in 12 months, which triggered calls for better quality CCTV and safety regulations on the popular street.

Officials had planned to reject an application for extended opening hours for the The Hub nightspot, where Kieron was attacked, on the grounds of public safety concerns. The application was later withdrawn.

Kieron’s dad, John, a 58-year-old taxi driver in the borough told the Evening Post earlier this year: “I drop people off in the town centre all the time and you can see some are going out looking for trouble.

“If I’m taking people in who don’t live round here, they’re not there for long before they’ve called back to get picked up. It’s giving Wigan a bad name.”