Residents’ despair over rowdy youths

Litter strewn across the children's play area at Orrell Water Park after up to 200 teenagers congregated there

Litter strewn across the children's play area at Orrell Water Park after up to 200 teenagers congregated there

Huge groups of teenagers descended on a popular green space and left the children’s play area fire damaged and strewn with broken glass.

Police had to be called to disperse almost 200 young people from all over the borough who had congregated at Orrell Water Park on Saturday night.

There was broken glass and smashed vodka bottles, they lit a camp fire on the soft material in the children’s play area so that’s now all damaged and litter was thrown in the bushes and trees

Residents had to put up with anti-social behaviour including teenagers revving car engines with sport exhausts, playing loud music on the park and in surrounding streets and making the park itself a no-go area.

The area has long been a magnet for young Wiganers and residents are now hoping the authorities can act once more, although calls for a repeat of the highly-successful 2015 dispersal order to prevent groups gathering look unlikely to succeed due to the temporary nature of the legislation.

One resident who lives on Lodge Road opposite the water park said: “There was a group of lads parked outside our house with an engine with a really loud exhaust running and playing loud music.

“My girlfriend asked them to move on as the noise had woken our baby daughter up and they just made abusive gestures at her.

“They then sped off and parked further up the road but I would estimate there were up to 200 teenagers at the water park and that’s not an exaggeration.

“They left it an absolute tip.

“There was broken glass and smashed vodka bottles, they lit a camp fire on the soft material in the children’s play area so that’s now all damaged and litter was thrown in the bushes and trees.

“It’s just filthy and I believe there’s a vermin problem too.

“They go to the takeaways and shops in Orrell to get food and drink and then go to the water park where they are unchallenged because it’s a secluded area.

“Last time there was an anti-social behaviour problem the council worked with the police and got a dispersal order.

“That stopped groups loitering and was really effective.

“I’ve asked if that can be reinstated, especially during school holidays.

“The park has been a draw for teenagers since I was a kid. It’s never been as bad as it was in the 1990s but it seems to be getting that way again.

“It disturbs a lot of people and some residents are quite intimidated by them.

“The problem is the lack of respect shown by these children.”

Residents praised Wigan Council who immediately sent a clean-up team to the site when informed of the litter on Sunday morning.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed it attended the water park shortly after 9pm on Saturday and the large group of teenagers there dispersed, with no other problems recorded.

Wigan Council said the dispersal orders are short-term measures but stressed it was committed to finding solutions to the anti-social behaviour.