Police presence at Preston dock car park continues as antisocial behaviour drops

A curfew on a car park at Preston Docks was welcomed by residents in July - as the Lancashire police say they have seen a decrease in cases of antisocial behaviour.

By James Holt
Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 3:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 3:48 pm
Lancashire Police enforcing the new curfew has seen a drop in antisocial behaviour
Lancashire Police enforcing the new curfew has seen a drop in antisocial behaviour

Noisy youths keeping residents up until the early hours of the morning was becoming an increasing issue before the curfew was introduced, with crowds of cars congregating in the council-owned car park, opposite McDonald's.

Neighbours claimed that their lives had been made a misery for months by 'boy racers' blaring music, smoking shisha, revving engines and dumping litter in the area.

In July, the Neighbourhood Policing Team told the Post that they would 'continue to monitor the situation and want to work with the community in order to help resolve any further issues.'

The Lancashire Police have been closing the barriers at 9pm every night to combat reports of antisocial behaviour in the area

According to the Lancashire Police, since they began locking the barrier at night, it has led to a decrease in antisocial behaviour.

A spokesperson for Preston City Council said: “Following concerns from residents and community groups we have introduced new security measures at the site including CCTV and signage advising that the car park will be locked from 9pm.

“We continue to work in close partnership with Lancashire Police who have increased their presence in the area and overseen the locking of the car park. We have been encouraged by feedback from residents since these measures were introduced and will continue to work closely with all involved.”

Encouraging images were shared in the Ashton and Riversway PACT group showing an increased police presence in the area, with pictures and videos showing them enforcing the curfew, actively closing the barriers and turning visiting cars away after nine o'clock.

Michael Balshaw, who has stood for the area in recent elections stated: "Whilst I have noticed a reduction in the anti-social behaviour, we have to be careful that we don't migrate the problem elsewhere. I have received complaints about the area around the dock lift being used and the other evening, cars were revving up and using the car park at nearby Morrisons.

"This car park on Mariners Way opposite Homebase and McDonalds has been on the agenda of the Ashton and Riversway PACT monthly meetings for the past two years and now the police have stepped in.

"After numerous discussions, the councillors decided that they didn't want to shut the carpark so CCTV was installed instead. Despite a camera being put up at the far end of the public car park, late night music and activity was still keeping residents awake in both Riversway and Ashton."

Reports of nuisance at other nearby car parks, such as the Morrison's on Mariners Way were also raised by residents.

However when the Post recently approached the supermarket chain, they told us that the cars and motorbikes were congregating in the council-owned car parks across the road.