Plea for more police patrols in Garstang after spate of vandalism

The former mayor of Garstang has asked for an increased police presence in the town after a spate of vandalism in the last few weeks.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 3:45 pm

The historic Wyre town is more usually renowned for its market, its often prize winning floral displays and its picturesque High Street and Market Place.

But a series of incidents, ranging from gates being taken off a local field full of cows, to signs being taken down and bottle throwing have caused a flurry of comments on Facebook.

Former Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster, a member of both the town and Wyre Borough Council, was appalled to witness one act of vandalism last week.

Ex mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster has called for more policing in Garstang over the next few weeks

She commented on the Your Garstang Facebook page how a morning walk proved "disappointing" after she saw that a bin had been removed and thrown on an embankment of the River Wyre and a sign appeared to have been broken and was in the river. This came less than wo days after she had see a metal barrier thrown in the river. She wrote: "I witnessed a group of youths by the river near the flood gate barriers and one of them picked up and carried a large metal barrier from near the cricket pitch and threw it off the bridge into the river. This is just mindless, stupid and destructive behaviour in my opinion. I will be reporting to the necessary people etc regarding retrieving the bin, fixing the sign and the barrier."

Afterwards she said: "I hope parents talk to their children about respecting other people's property and where they live. There's just been so many things in a short space of time. It's just an accumulation of things which I think are done by a small minority, but I'm not sure. I've reported the problems and things that need to be repaired to Wyre Council as they're responsible for the bin and sign and also to the Environment Agency re. the metal barrier in the river. I've also contacted the police and asked for greater police presence in Garstang over the next few weeks."

She said she hoped the perpetrators would "think about their actions and the consequences" and said she thought the Town Council would want to discus the problem at its November meeting.

Coun Webster stressed that the bad behaviour was not representative of the majority of young people in Garstang and said: "We've got some wonderful young people, we really do. The sporting facilitites in Garstang are brilliant, so many are in the scouts and guides and there are lots of (young) volunteers."

The signpost abandoend in the River Wyre

Meanwhile Pamela Miller had commented on the Your Garstang page: "Not impressed, we have 40 heavily pregnant cows grazing on the field of Greenhalgh Castle, only to find out youths have been messing about today and took the gate off on Castle Lane which we have just found in the dark half way across the field, they have also been across the other side of the field and removed the one which goes onto the old railway line. Had these cows ended up in Garstang it could have been serious, thank you to the lad that informed us, if anyone saw a group of youths messing about around Castle Lane or the old railway line they need reporting please."

Another contributor complained of graffiti under Bonds Lane bridge. The recent complaints come just weeks after a resident warned other locals to be wary after a disturbance at Moss Lane park where he said youths were throwing bottles and one bottle had hit his wife on the head. He complained there had been "a group of teenagers smoking and throwing bottles about the kiddies play area where 2 to 3 year olds were playing."

He said that when he intervened and asked them to stop: "A bottle was thrown at my wife, which hit her on the head. If out for a walk in our lovely market town, please be careful. These are people's kids gone wild bringing our area down...if out and about, take care."

Police had said enquiries were continuing following the Moss Lane incident. A comment has been sought from Lancashirre Constabulary.

The bin left on the embankment

* Earlier this month Chief Supt Karen Edwards, the new Divisional Commander for Lancashire Constabulary’s West Division, which includes Blackpool,Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Morecambe, pledged:"My priorities are to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and to protect and build trust within the communities of West Division. I expect my officers to carry out more proactive work focusing on burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour...I will not tolerate criminality or anti-social behaviour and will work with the community to bring to justice those individuals who insist on causing harm to good law-abiding citizens."

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The historic Market Place/High Street in Garstang