A town centre hit by crime

KFC in Pemberton
KFC in Pemberton

BUSINESSES and councillors have expressed concern over a sharp rise in crime at a busy town centre, following several robberies and break-ins.

Last week’s robbery at KFC, in Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, was the tip of the iceberg, as other businesses along that stretch, including Texaco garage, England and Son’s Butchers, Mama Mia Pizzeria and Probal Spice Indian Take Away, have been targeted by burglars in recent months.

A member of staff at Mama Mia Pizzeria, in Ormskirk Road, who did not wish to be named, said: “Thieves broke in a couple of months ago and took our till. We phoned the police but nothing has been done since.

“It seems nobody can help us and it can happen again.”

Police say that they do not believe the incidents are part of a “significant crime series” and insist they are working hard to tackle crime.

Insp Glenn Jones from Greater Manchester Police said: “The recent changes to crime recording have seen a slight increase in recorded crime in Pemberton, like the rest of Greater Manchester. We are committed first and foremost to our communities and addressing significantly impactive incidents such as burglary and robbery, much like those that have occurred recently. We do not believe these incidents to be part of any other significant local crime series and are continuing to work with the Pemberton community to keep our streets safe.”

Ward councillors have met with Insp Jones to discuss the impact of budget cuts on policing and Coun Paul Prescott expressed concerns over the increase in crime.

He said: “At this time of year there is an increase in break-ins. It is a sad state of affairs when the town centre gets targeted and there seems to be a pattern. This needs to be addressed properly and I am sure the police are doing all they can to apprehend those responsible. It is very concerning and I will speak again with police. We need to look at the safety of people who may be around when these robberies take place.”

Anyone with information on the KFC robbery on October 19 should call police on 0161 856 7124 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.