Locals’ terror as yobs occupy old care home in Wigan

Brackley House has become a magnet for yobs
Brackley House has become a magnet for yobs

Residents are being kept awake at night by groups of young people running amok at an abandoned care home and using it as an illegal playground.

Brackley House in Goose Green is currently awaiting demolition, and has become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour in recent weeks, with youths entering the grounds by climbing over the fence, smashing windows and breaking into to cause havoc - much to the frustration of neighbours.

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One resident, who asked not to be named, told the Wigan Post: “A group of around 15 to 20 teenagers are hanging around near the property every night, and they’ve been breaking in and vandalising it.

“Fire alarms are also being set off.

“They start coming here about 4pm, when they finish school.

“They’re not from the immediate area, but they are local.

“They have to climb the fence to get in, and they are breaking in via the rear fire exit.

“It’s been happening every night.

“Inside the building is completely trashed, and they’re starting to smash up the outside now.”

The resident added: “The road itself, even though it’s just off Warrington Road, is a very quiet area.

“So we’re finding the atmosphere very intimidating and frustrating.

“We’ve reported it to the police on 101, and even escalated it to 999.

“But there’s been no police presence here.

“All I’m looking for is some sort of policing, even if it’s a PCSO, to make their presence visible to deter the kids from hanging about here.

“We residents are very afraid because the building is quite substantial.

“If they decided to set it on fire, it’s a very big building to go up in flames.

“So we’re concerned about our properties being across the road from it.”

Marie Bintley, assistant director for growth and housing at Wigan Council, said: “We are aware of the recent incidents at the Brackley House site and arrangements were made to re-secure the building before the weekend.

“The building has been empty for a number of months, following the rehousing of all residents. Officers have carried out regular inspections of the empty building and there had been few issues relating to the building security prior to the incidents last week.

“We will increase the frequency of visits to the building to check the security of the building and respond promptly to any further incidents.”

She added: “The council is advanced in its proposals for the redevelopment of the site for a new housing scheme and a planning application has recently been submitted for a development of 17 family houses, following community consultation held in April. Subject to planning and other approvals and the appointment of a contractor, the building is due to be demolished by December 2019 to make way for the new houses.”

Incidents of antisocial behaviour can be reported to the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Non-emergency incidents can also report antisocial behaviour to the council via the Report It app.