Security on a Wigan shopping precinct is being beefed up following a worrying spate of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
CCTV has been installed at the Winstanley Centre following alarming incidents including smash-and-grab raids on cash machines.
Ward councillors worked with neighbourhood police officers and Wigan Council after residents and staff reported serious problems at the Holmes House Avenue retail centre involving gangs of young people.
The area has recently undergone a spruce-up under new management with the likes of Co-operative Food Store, Coral bookmakers and Bargain Booze all moving in as well as a gin and wine bar opening its doors.To prevent customers being scared off by reports of criminal activity a rapid deployment CCTV camera which is linked to Wigan Central Watch providing surveillance on a 24/7 basis has been installed.
The camera canbe moved around the Winstanley ward to help law enforcement tackle crime hot spots. Coun Clive Morgan said: “We are pleased to see the installation and hope that this will reassure staff working at the centre and shoppers.
“The centre is very popular and we believe the camera will act to deter anti-social and criminal behaviour and make the area a safe space for people to enjoy.”
The elected representatives also called on national politicians to do more to help Greater Manchester Police (GMP) get more officers on the streets to act as a deterrent to law-breaking.
Coun Marie Morgan said: “Cuts to our local police force have put our neighbourhood police team under severe pressure and they are doing their best to help people, so we feel it was important to support them and we know that they welcome this resource which is specifically for use in the Winstanley area.
“In the longer term Government must invest in our police force to make local communities safer.”