Horrified Wiganers have expressed their concern after a video showed people apparently under the influence of drugs in a zombie-like state in the town centre.
The footage, posted on social media, shows a couple of men frozen into position in broad daylight.
The shocking clip, which lasts less than 30 seconds, shows one man bent double and another swaying backwards and forwards on the spot.
The footage was filmed on Standishgate and a steady stream of shoppers can be seen walking past the harrowing spectacle.
The voice of a frightened child can also be heard off-camera in the brief clip.
The video, posted by Luke Rainford, had been viewed some 36,000 times by Monday morning and had received hundreds of comments from concerned residents.
Wiganers said Greater Manchester Police (GMP) need to do more to tackle the scourge of illegal substances on the streets and spoke of how worried they were for their children going out in the town centre.
Christine Dunphy said: “At a time when the town centre is struggling with the council’s high rents, reduced footfall and stallholders being menaced by groups of youths, this is the last thing we need.
“I think the only thing to do now is to have a permanent police presence covering the town centre.
“Soon we’ll be stepping over drunk or drug-addled bodies in broad daylight. It’s not safe, and if not nipped in the bud will escalate.”
Louise Fletcher said: “It’s scary, having this on your doorstep. My kids are only seven and nine and can’t even imagine them asking when they’re old enough if they can go into town.”
Laura Deluce said: “Frightening, wouldn’t want my daughter seeing this when she’s shopping with her friends.”
Mr Rainford, who shot the footage, suggested that problems of this nature were less common when Spice was a legal high and the issue of zombie-like figures on the streets had got worse since criminalising the use of the substance meant it was effectively unmonitored.
The post containing the video appeared on social media on Saturday.
A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “We want to have safe, vibrant and prosperous town centres and we know that is what our residents and businesses want too. We are working closely with our partners including Greater Manchester Police to address these issues through a range of different strategies.”
Any needles should be reported immediately to the council via www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit or the Report It app.