Preston residents say they are frightened by further violence in Savick and Larches

Fearful neighbours have demanded action after two violent incidents unfolded in the Larches and Savick area of Preston at the weekend.

By Stef Hall
Friday, 25th September 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 3:46 pm

Three people have been arrested, quizzed and bailed by Lancashire Police after reports of anti social behaviour, damage, fighting and 'weapons'.

One woman, who was too afraid to be identified, said she had witnessed up to 30 people attacking properties and cars in the Birkdale Drive area on Saturday night.

On Sunday, three people were arrested after a fight, with an airgun seized.

Trouble was caused on the Savick estate, near the row of shops in West Park Avenue and Birkdale Drive, Pic: Google

Both incidents followed a violent brawl at 4pm on Tuesday, September 15, near the row of shops in West Park Avenue and Birkdale Drive, in which men openly confronted each other in the street armed with machetes and knives.

The worried resident says vulnerable elderly people, young professionals and young families in Savick are experiencing "shocking and extended periods of violence and intimidation by the local youth".

The mum said she wanted to draw attention to the issue as she felt the police and local authorities had failed to address it.

She added: " On Saturday at least five different residents called the police as 25 to 30 youths, aged around 14 to 17, were hanging around making dreadful noise.

" They were making weapons out of bicycle seats, still attached to a metal pole and using them to bash the shutters of the shops on Birkdale Drive.

"They've strewn litter all over the place. One little old lady in the flats near my home has told me she feels too frightened to go out because of what they might do.

"I've brought up my family for many years in this area and have never experienced this before, until this year.

"As soon as you hear the noise start your heart sinks.

"They have been running up and down on people's cars and smashed a neighbour's windscreen. I saw them bashing a flat door and window.

"Another neighbour recently had their garden gravelled and they were picking up chunks of stone and throwing them.

"The police come out, usually an hour too late, and these kids think they can't be touched."

The neighbour, who says she has written to councillors and the police, claims more than an hour after Saturday's incident subsided, and the youths had left, one young female police officer arrived alone in a van.

Another resident said: "The issue with this type of behaviour is that it is always confined to the local council estates. Can you imagine if residents living in wealthier areas of Preston called the police describing the atrocious behaviour being enacted on local property? I imagine the police would be there in a heartbeat.

"There is an extremely poor attitude towards the residents of Savick estate and it is about time this was brought to attention."

The incidents came just days after the Post published details of an ambitious blueprint to spruce up Savick and turn it into “a high quality residential neighbourhood.

A police spokesman said:" We were called on Saturday September 19 to reports of anti-social behaviour with a large group of youths that had gathered on Birkdale Drive – near to Savick Shops.

"A number of vehicles were damaged during this incident. Police attended and the group dispersed with no arrests being made.

"It is believed that this incident involves the same group of people as the reports from the following night. We are aware of ongoing antisocial behaviour in the area and have increased officer presence, as a result, in order to reassure residents."

She added police were called at around 3.20pm on Sunday, September 20 to reports of a "public order offence" involving two males fighting in Norbreck Drive.

She said: "The two suspects made off from the scene and were later arrested. A third person was also arrested later, and a gas-powered BB gun seized.

"All have been released under investigation pending further enquiries."

A 24-year-old man from Preston was arrested on suspicion of public order offences, a 17-year-old boy from Preston was arrested on suspicion of affray, and a 45-year-old man from Preston was arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms offences.

Councillor David Borrow said: " I have discussed these incidents with my fellow ward councillors Jenny Mein and Phil Crowe and to have three such incidents involving dangerous weapons within a few day is deeply disturbing.

"The suggestion firearms were present is really frightening. We are seeking an urgent meeting with the police to find out what they are doing to apprehend those responsible and ensure local residents can feel safe. "