DCSIMG

Town’s most crime-ridden area revealed

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editorial image

Leyland’s worst area for crime, drugs, violence, burglaries and anti-social behaviour has been identified as the Golden Hill ward.

The Guardian can reveal that the patch, which includes the Broadfield estate, tops the list as the town’s most notorious area.

Figures from Lancashire County Council for the whole of last year also show that residents in the Golden Hill area made more calls to the emergency services than any other ward in Leyland.

The area fell into the ‘worst’ category for levels of recorded crime, violence, serious violent crime, drugs offences and calls to the police for anti-social behaviour matters.

It also had a high number of domestic abuse incidents and domestic burglary compared with the rest of Leyland, and local councillors say the results are ‘very disappointing’ for the area.

Coun Mick Titherington said: “This is a real concern, particularly in relation to the violent crimes.

“In terms of the anti-social behaviour, there have always been reports of youths congregating around Balfour Court and the Bannister Drive shops, but it’s the ‘violence’ statistics which really concern me.

“That, along with the drugs issues, needs to be stamped out as soon as possible.

“It’s a real disappointment because there is a lot of work taking place in Golden Hill to help create a community spirit.

“I think it’s unfair to label certain areas of the ward, but at the same time, if there is a lot of recorded crime in a particular part of Golden Hill, I would hope that the resources would be put in place to control this.

“It’s a concern when you think about funding cuts within the police force.”

The only type of crime which Golden Hill didn’t fall into the ‘worst’ category for was vehicle crime.

Coun Matthew Tomlinson, who also represents Golden Hill at South Ribble Council, added: “It’s always very disappointing to be shown to be top of any list like this.

“There are well-documented problems in certain parts of the Golden Hill ward, and there are the usual problems associated with the Broadfield estate.

“Unemployment is higher in the Broadfield area than anywhere else in Leyland, and there are lots of young people who feel they have nothing to do; they have a lot of time on their hands.

“It’s disappointing that the area has this bad reputation, and it’s a tiny proportion of residents causing the problems.

“There are a lot of good people out there, doing good things for the community, and I think it’s important to recognise that.”

Insp Steve Evans, from Leyland police, said the area is a high priority for the force, and insisted that patrols will not be affected by any funding cuts in the near future.

He said: “We are aware of the problems that have manifested themselves in the Golden Hill ward, and particularly in certain areas of that ward.

“There have been a lot of issues around youths, and we will continue to work with our partners and the community to make the place as safe as possible.

“It is one of our priority areas and there has been a lot of positive work there, with community activities and diversionary projects for youths, which the police have been involved in.”

He added: “I think it is maybe unfair to stigmatise certain parts of the town and tarnish the Leyland name.

“Stereotyping can sometimes undermine the very good work people are doing to try to make their hometown a better place to live.

“When a place is labelled in this way, it can take the public perception of an area a long time to recover from that.

“I think it’s mainly problems with individuals rather than the whole area.

“There is a lot of social housing and unemployment, and a perceived lack of opportunities in the Broadfield estate - I can’t deny that’s the case - but I wouldn’t suggest that it is dramatically worse than any other part of Leyland.”

Earnshaw Bridge is Leyland’s ‘best’ ward as far as the figures are concerned, with this area only falling into the ‘worst’ category for vehicle crime.

Moss Side’s biggest problems are ‘violence against the person’, and serious violent crime, whilst the issues facing Leyland Central, which include the town centre, are anti-social behaviour and ‘violence against the person’.

Lowerhouse and Leyland St Mary’s also fared quite high in the ‘worst’ wards list.

The only main issue facing Farington is vehicle crime, and residents there also made more calls to the Fire and Rescue Service compared to other parts of Leyland.

Seven Stars only fell into the ‘worst’ category for domestic abuse, while for St Ambrose the problems are ‘violence against the person’, vehicle crime, and anti-social behaviour.

How does your area fare?

A list of the ‘worst’ wards for each category -

Calls to the police

Golden Hill

Leyland St Mary’s

Lowerhouse

Calls to the ambulance service

Golden Hill

Lowerhouse

Calls to the Fire and Rescue service

Farington East and West

Golden Hill

Leyland St Mary’s

Lowerhouse

Total recorded crime

All wards except Moss Side and Earnshaw Bridge

Violence against the person

All wards except Earnshaw Bridge

Serious violent crime

Golden Hill

Leyland St Mary’s

Moss Side

Domestic abuse

Golden Hill

Lowerhouse

Seven Stars

All drugs offences

Golden Hill

Leyland St Mary’s

Domestic burglary

Golden Hill

All vehicle crime

Earnshaw Bridge

Farington East and West

Lowerhouse

St Ambrose

Calls to the police for anti-social behaviour

All wards except Earnshaw Bridge, Farington East and West, and Moss Side

 

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