Yobs causing misery in village

The open space and benches near Cross Street, Standish, where some residents have complained about youths drinking and smoking
The open space and benches near Cross Street, Standish, where some residents have complained about youths drinking and smoking

Residents have hit out at a spate of anti-social behaviour which they say has made their lives a misery.

Incidents of vandalism and issues with groups of young people leaving public areas a mess after drinking and smoking there have been reported across Standish.

In the most serious incident flower tubs belonging to Standish In Bloom and a large vegetable box being grown for the Incredible Edible project were tipped over in the early hours of the morning.

Two offenders were spotted by CCTV walking past the displays outside Standish Community Centre before damaging the plants and then continuing on their way.

Reports have also been made of smashed glass and cans being left at several locations around the village, including some benches on Cross Street between the library and St Wilfrid’s Church, a nearby public footpath and Ashfield Park.

In the wake of the vandalism the community centre on Moody Street has upgraded its surveillance cameras and spoken to PCSOs to ensure culprits in future are caught.

Chairman Bill Tabiner expressed despair at the outbreak of pointless damage which wrecked hours of volunteers’ work.

Mr Tabiner said: “It’s just blatant, mindless vandalism and I don’t know what they get out of it at all.

“We saw it on CCTV and they approached the community centre down Church Street, came to the front of the building, pulled the tubs over and then went down Moody Street.

“We’ve upgraded the cameras and let the officers know so whatever happens in future we will have better images and they are not going to get away with it.”

Conservative ward councillor for Standish Ray Whittingham says residents have also spoken to him about groups of youths leaving a mess after congregating in several areas.

He praised Wigan Council for its prompt responses to his requests for clean-up teams to visit affected locations and the town hall said it would be happy to send cleansing employees to the area if needed in future.

He also urged residents to report more serious incidents to the police so the authorities have an accurate picture of how bad the problem is.

Coun Whittingham said: “There have been problems in the children’s area at Ashfield Park, at the side of St Wilfrid’s Church and at the back of the Co-Op.

“I’ve spoken to the council about beer cans and bottles and broken glass and fair play to them they’ve been down and cleaned it all up.

“There’s also a lot of rubbish accumulating near the seats over the weekend. It’s somewhere for kids to sit.

“I wouldn’t like to see the benches removed because elderly people also use them and there’s a definite lack of seating around Standish.

“I don’t think people are reporting all the incidents. Rather than just moaning about it and not doing anything people need to report it to the police so they’ve got statistics. The word needs to get out there.”

Anti-social behaviour should be reported to the police on 101 or by ringing Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Incidents such as rubbish dumping and fly-tipping should be passed on to Wigan Council using the Report It app or through the local authority’s website.