Police in park crackdown

Coun Gary Wilkes at Grange Road Park, Bryn, with Lisa Rowlands, who runs one of the shops next it, which have both been subjected to vandalism and anti-social behaviour by gangs of youths

Coun Gary Wilkes at Grange Road Park, Bryn, with Lisa Rowlands, who runs one of the shops next it, which have both been subjected to vandalism and anti-social behaviour by gangs of youths

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POLICE are clamping down on nuisance youths who are causing havoc at a Wigan children’s play area.

Bryn ward councillor Gary Wilkes is working with officers to monitor teenagers who are congregating at the park in Grange Road, Bryn, and causing trouble.

The gangs are drinking, smoking cannabis and causing hundreds of pounds of damage to the play equipment while prompting a flood a complaints from local residents and businesses.

Coun Wilkes said: “I am hoping the police can address the situation as soon as possible. Fellow councillor Don Hodgkinson and I have instigated a major investment in the park over the years, installing swings and play apparatus.

“But unfortunately that brings older teenagers to the park in the evenings.

“There is a good quality Dynex fence around the equipment to make it safe and keep the dogs away, but the youths have decided to take at least two panels out, which cost £50 a sheet. They had really thought about it and taken the screws out.

“We will now have to get contractors out and price it up, but I suspect there is a couple of hundred pounds worth of damage.

“I am really disappointed - it is just unnecessary and ruins the area.

“Without a shadow of a doubt that damage was caused by the teenagers who meet on the play equipment and some residents know who they are and have complained to the police.

“We also have an element of drug use in that park.

“It may just be weed at the moment, but if teenagers are using that, it could lead to other, harder drugs.

“We have asked the police to listen to the complaints of residents and patrol the area more.

“They have responded quite positively and now I hope the police have the resources to address it.

“We don’t want the youths thinking it is a free-for-all. We need to come down hard on these nuisance teenagers.”

Local shops have also had trouble with youths.

Insp Anne Scott, of the Hindley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are looking closely at the issues affecting Grange Park in Bryn, and officers will be working closely with partners agencies to resolve the issues around anti-social behaviour over the coming weeks.”