Helicopter chases, hammer attacks and kidnapping: Lancashire Police respond to Leyland residents’ concerns over recent local crime

Over the past few weeks, the Post has reported on various crimes across Leyland, prompting concerned reactions from local residents.
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These crimes have included the brandishing of weapons, violent assaults and robbery, and all come just weeks after Leyland Police Station returned to a 24/7 response service in July.

What kind of incidents have there been?

Most recently, the Post reported how a police helicoper and armed police were deployed to Leyland on Monday, September 26, after people were seen carrying weapons in Haig Avenue, shortly after 3pm.

Police have responded after Leyland residents expressed concern following a chain of local incidents.Police have responded after Leyland residents expressed concern following a chain of local incidents.
Police have responded after Leyland residents expressed concern following a chain of local incidents.
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The armed individuals were not found, however a 37-year-old woman from Leyland was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent, and has since been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

Only four days before this, on Thursday, September 22, a young girl also needed stiches after being hit over the head with a hammer in the town centre.

Other examples of crimes in the area include a car theft followed by the kidnapping of three individuals outside a Leyland address on September 10, the rape of a teenage girl in Strawberry Valley Park on July 22, an increase in car thefts, and various home burglaries, such as this one in Fox Lane on July 13 or this one in Balcarres Road a week earlier.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Euxton last week (September 21), balaclava-clad thieves, armed with a crowbar, ambushed a home on Wigan Road, before assaulting the occupant and stealing a quantity of cash.

How have the public reacted to the incidents?

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One member of the public shared our latest Leyland crime story, on the search for the armed individuals, with the caption “Weapons out at 3pm when schools are kicking out, girls being hit in the head with hammers, lads openly riding around with balaclavas on intimidating and robbing children, all things I’ve read about in Leyland in the last week. What is going on in Leyland right now?!” before tagging Lancashire Police.

Posting it on the Facebook Group, the Leyland Hub, what followed was a chain of comments by people saying their same concerns for the area’s safety.

One user said “So scary what is going on”, whilst another commented “Leyland used to be lovely place [to] live unfortunately few [are] spoiling it [for] everyone let's get tough with these thugs”.

Underneath our story on the town centre hammer attack, Post reader’s shared similar worries.

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One wrote: “What’s happening to Leyland that you can’t even walk down the street at 7pm. And not get attacked. Absolutely disgusting.”

Another commented: “This sort of thing is happening daily”

Meanwhile other’s asked “What is going on these days?” and “what is this world coming to”.

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What have the police said in response?

The Post approached Lancashire Police with the list of recent Leyland crimes, asking for either a reaction to it, reassurance for Leyland residents, or an explanation as to why there may have been more high profile crimes in the area recently.

In response, a spokesperson said: “We work tirelessly with partners to ensure South Ribble remains a safe place to live, work and visit. We regularly review crime patterns to ensure our resources are in the right place at the right time.

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“While the incidents highlighted in the article are all isolated and not being treated as linked, we appreciate and understand that they will cause the community a degree of concern. We know the public will be appalled by any incidents involving violence or the threat of violence and we want to reassure them that we have dedicated teams of officers assigned to the cases highlighted to bring the offenders to justice.

“If anybody has information which could assist our enquiries we would urge them to email [email protected] or call 101. Alternatively call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”