More leading town figures have joined the fight to demand better policing for Longridge after years of crime and disorder by young people has left residents ‘living in fear’.
After hearing of Longridge town council’s stance in last week’s Longridge News, former Longridge mayor Hilda Marle Collis is also calling for the re-opening of the police station “to protect the people of Longridge”.
The town council is demanding police finally take action and at their meeting tonight will be voicing their concerns to the new Ribble Valley police inspector.
Leading light at the Heritage Centre, Jean Hill describes the gathering of youths in the car park behind the Co-op, around the Old Station and close to the sheltered accommodation, as “completely out of control”.
She says: “The young people intimidate all the people in the vicinity, including users of the Heritage centre and residents of the sheltered accommodation by their bad language and aggressive behaviour. They urinate in the corner of the Heritage Centre, they play extremely loud music, they light fires next to the building close to the doors and put cigarettes and other combustible material through the Town Council letter box. They trample on the garden, uprooting plants, destroying fences and have broken a large window in the Heritage Centre. They leave litter and are using drugs and offering them to younger children.
The behaviour, she says, starts in the early evening and carries on past midnight.
Mrs Hill will be attending tonight’s meeting and says she and fellow heritage centre volunteers feel it is time to take action “to stop this dangerous and anti-social behaviour” and have sent a letter to the town council, police and commissioner and will also be including Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.
She adds: “We are all people who care about our town and are proud of its heritage of being a friendly place to live.
“We, therefore, cannot stand by and just discuss this amongst ourselves. It is time for us all to stand up to these intimidating young people and young bullies and stop this blight on our community.”
Mrs Marle Collis says the problem has been “growing for two years” and after hearing youths are carrying knives, fears “it will be guns
next”. She believes some of the offenders are younger than 12 and know the police cannot get there soon enough when residents call for help.