Blackpool is home to one of the worst crime hotspots in the UK, new figures reveal.
A new list of the country’s most crime-ridden areas features the resort’s Bank Hey Street in the top 20.
Residents today reacted with shock that the street – which saw 483 recorded crimes in the past year – was named the worst in Lancashire.
Official crime figures found only three places in the North West – busy parts of Manchester and Liverpool – keep police busier.
Town officials today pledged to bring the crime rate in the resort down.
Coun Ian Coleman, who represents Blackpool’s Talbot ward, said: “I am terribly saddened to hear that we are twelfth on the list.
“Quite a lot of work is being done to make Bank Hey Street a more family friendly area, including introducing public space protection orders and ASBOs.
“However, the street is in the town centre of one of the largest resorts in the country.
“The police and the council are doing their utmost to bring these levels right down and I dare to prophecise that we will not be in this position in the next league that comes out.
“Blackpool is improving, and we have to continue working hard to make sure it does. There are grey areas but we are working our very hardest to make them better.”
In April alone, the most recent month for which figures are available, Bank Hey Street saw 52 crimes reported to police – almost two a day.
But while shoplifting and theft make up more than a third of all offences in the area, traders and shoppers said the real problem lies with the resort’s night-time economy.
One shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, blamed drunken behaviour for most of the street’s problems.
He said: “We’ve had a window smashed a few times but apart from a few drunken incidents we’ve had nothing major.
“You can see there being some crime rate here due to there being a lot of people with drug problems.”
He said some of the area’s crime will be linked to wider social issues as people steal to feed their drug habit or to make ends meet.
But Neil Carpenter, store manager at HMV on Bank Hey Street, said: “It’s not that surprising when you see the number of people here.
“The crime rate here is nothing out of the ordinary –we’re no different to any other HMV store.”
Insp James Martin, of Blackpool Police, said he was surprised to see Bank Hey Street so high on the list.
He added: “As far as I am concerned, there are no significant problems there.
“The majority of offences on Bank Hey Street are shoplifting offences from larger stores.”
Lancashire Police’s own figures show a “negligible” rise in crime in Blackpool town centre, he added.
They also show crime on the street is lower than the Home Office data indicates, as it includes all recorded offences “on or near Bank Hey Street.”