'˜Zero tolerance' over violence on streets
A spate of violent crime and anti-social behaviour in Chorley has left residents in fear of their safety.
Police are investigating two serious gang assaults and have urged folk to come forward with information.
In addition, nuisance youths are plaguing neighbourhoods.
Police have warned they will crackdown on culprits and use powers available to them in an effort to stamp out the problems.
In one assault, 45-year-old Thomas Graham was left with serious facial injuries following a gang attack.
He was walking on Lyons Lane when he approached a group of males and females.
Following a brief conversation, he started to walk away before one of the group punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.
The attacker and another two to three people started to repeatedly kick the victim in the head, face and body.
The assault only stopped when members of the public intervened and the offenders ran off.
Mr Graham suffered a suspected broken nose and cheekbone and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital.
Police have also appealed for information after a 24-year-old man was attacked in Chorley’s Flat Iron Car Park
Officers believe the victim was walking with friends towards McDonalds when they were approached by a group of six men near the car park.
The group started to verbally abuse the victim, before one of the men punched him on the nose and threw him to the ground. The men then ran off towards Bolton Road.
The man was taken to Chorley Hospital for treatment for a broken nose and chipped shoulder bone.
Chorley Police reported that they had received on-going complaints of anti-social behaviour in the Coppull area.
They say patrols had been stepped up and they would be working with partner agencies to tackle the problem.
They added that they were considering ‘dispersal powers’, and other positive steps to resolve the issues. Police said individuals were being dealt with appropriately and that they would be taking “a zero tolerance approach”.
Chorley town centre and Chorley east area had also been troubled by anti-social behaviour problems.
Former councillor Julia Berry, a volunteer co-ordinator at Tatton Community Centre, attended a multi-agency meeting at Tatton Community Centre, Chorley.
She said: “I don’t think these things are related but in Chorley east it’s the time of year when there’s a lot of anti-social behaviour because there’s a lot of people roaming around. We have to have a police presence in the area.
“My concern is the MUGA (multi-use games area) at Lord Street which has been locked up since last summer.
“There’s a lot of young people operating, not on their own patch, but who seem to be travelling to other areas.”
She said folk, especially the elderly, were wary of going out. “It’s very, very rare for violence in Chorley east, so they’re afraid to go out.
“People are saying it’s not a nice place to live and it brings down the whole area, and it’s not acceptable.
“Thank goodness Chorley Council is investing in the Youth Zone, but it’s outside things that are happening.”
Charlie Cox, geographic inspector, for the Chorley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are aware of the recent incidents of violent crime and antisocial behaviour in Chorley and are conducting investigations to identify those responsible.
“ It is not believed that the two assaults mentioned recently on the Chorley Police Facebook page are linked. All lines of enquiry are being explored and positive action will be taken wherever possible.
“A group of youths were causing antisocial behaviour in the town centre and Chorley east areas earlier this year, and we have worked with the council and other partners to tackle individuals involved – this work is continuing, and we will take a tough stance against those that make others feel unsafe.
“If it comes to light that this group are still causing problems then I want to be clear that they will be targeted, and we, the council and other partners have a variety of powers at our disposal that we can utilise in stopping the group’s antisocial activities.
“We have also become aware of a group causing a nuisance in the Coppull area. Again, multiagency work is ongoing to deal with the individuals concerned.
“I would like to reassure residents that these incidents are taken seriously and fully investigated.
“I want people who live, visit and work in Chorley to feel safe and if that is not happening we need to know.
“I would encourage those that are victims of any antisocial behaviour or violent crime to come forward and tell us by calling 101 (unless an emergency then 999) so we can get a better picture of the issues and work with our partners to do something about them.”