Call for more police to tackle yob menace

Prospective Independent candidate Darryl Picton and Coun Steve Jones
Prospective Independent candidate Darryl Picton and Coun Steve Jones

An opposition councillor is calling for a more visible police presence on an estate he claims is plagued by drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Coun Steve Jones, independent representative for Bryn ward, says PCSOs need to be put back on the beat in the Priory Road area.

There are problems with heroin needles and bins overflowing with drug paraphernalia and it’s disgusting. We need PCSOs there on the streets

Coun Steve Jones

The street hit the headlines last year when there was a grisly incident in which two men and a pet dog were stabbed at home by masked intruders.

Coun Jones is now calling on Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to clamp down on anti-social behaviour and reassure residents anxious about obvious signs of drug taking.

He has also suggested Wigan and Leigh Homes (WALH) need to look more closely at who is given social housing in the area and suggested policies should be altered to keep close-knit communities together.

Coun Jones said: “There are problems with heroin needles and bins overflowing with drug paraphernalia and it’s disgusting. We need PCSOs there on the street, a car passing by every now and then isn’t enough.

“When there was the stabbing last year PCSOs walked up and down and a lot of the problems and the drugs stopped.

“Residents feel like they are being forgotten about and I just want to speak up about it so they can see someone is trying to do something about it. They are coming to me absolutely fed up.

“There are a lot of elderly people here who’ve always lived in Bryn and they are getting intimidated, it’s not fair. There are also two care homes in the vicinity.

“I think people from the local area with grandparents living here should get these WALH properties, because by doing that we would keep the community spirit too.

“People involved in illegal drugs and anti-social behaviour incidents should be kicked out of the council houses.”

WALH has said it is aware of the problems on Priory Road and surrounding streets and reassured residents it is taking them extremely seriously.

The organisation also stressed that persistently-offending tenants will face eviction, with one local resident currently facing enforcement action.

WALH interim chief executive Vicky Bannister said: “We are aware of the cases of anti-social behaviour in this area and are working hard to ensure this stops.

“The safety of our tenants is a top priority for us and residents should not feel frightened in their community.

“We are currently in the process of taking legal action to end the tenancy at an address in this area, which will hopefully work towards bringing peace back into the neighbourhood. All properties are allocated through our allocations policy to ensure residents are able to fairly express an interest in any properties. We now carry out extensive checks before any offer of accommodation is made.”

Greater Manchester Police was approached about PCSOs being assigned to the area but had not responded as we went to press.