Thugs in vandal blitz on cars

Crime story
Crime story

GANGS of marauding youths damaged cars and threw stones at residents in a terrifying outbreak of anti-social behaviour on a quiet residential street.

The disturbance began just after 10.30pm on Friday in Astley Park in Tyldesley but then spilled over into neighbouring residential streets, with as many as 10 cars and houses being targeted by the groups of men and women who are thought to be from rival gangs.

Residents said the sudden outbreak of disorder has left them fearing for their safety, while Greater Manchester Police are urging witnesses to come forward. The disorder began at around 10.40pm on Well Street, with youths holding rocks and sticks aggressively shouting gang-related slogans at each other.

Eyewitness reports suggested one woman who called the police had stones thrown at her by the teenagers, while yobs also jumped on to a car and left dent marks all over it.

Those living in the street said it is not the first time there has been anti-social behaviour involving youths in Astley Street Park but the recent disorder is the most serious to date, with some witnesses suggesting they saw some people involved carrying machetes.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “None of us has slept properly since. We feel unsafe and unprotected. What happened was unacceptable. On Saturday morning there were still rocks in the road and piles of smashed glass on the pavement. An older couple were walking down and you could tell they were afraid and didn’t know what they were walking into.”

GMP confirmed around 20 people armed with sticks and bottled aged between 16 and 20 were involved in a disturbance which saw cars on Well Street damaged before the offenders headed off into Astley Park. No arrests have been made so far.

Wigan Council cabinet member for children’s services, Coun Jo Platt, who lives nearby, said: “Problems involving gangs have become a regular occurrence, and the destruction of the cars has caused the residents to be concerned. There seem to be a few young people hell bent on causing trouble and this is clearly distressing for residents.

“We need to work with our Better Neighbourhood teams, PCSOs and police officers to find solutions.”

Anyone who witnessed the disorder or has any details about it should call GMP on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.