Leyland’s new police chief has said tackling anti-social behaviour, house burglaries and vandalism at Worden Park will be among his top priorities.
Insp Steve Evans has taken on role as Inspector for South Ribble after a review of the management structure in Southern Division.
The move is aimed at working towards the £43.75m of savings needed over the next four years and has seen the number of geographic inspectors reduced from six to three.
Now, Insp Evans wants to tackle problems head-on, and said that a hard approach is necessary.
He said: “I’m very big on targeting offenders and making it clear that we will not tolerate crime and anti-social behaviour.
“There are a few hotspots in Leyland which we need to continue to monitor, such as around McDonalds in town centre, and we want to take out the key perpetrators (with court orders).
“I am absolutely determined to resolve the issues which affect members of the public and their quality of life.
“In some instances, congregating youths are just hanging out with their friends, but it can be quite intimidating to people who have to walk past. We’re keen to remove that tension and work with local authorities, such as the council, to come up with positive activities for the youths to do at evenings and weekends.”
He added: “I want to get the message out that for the small minority of youths who do cause a nuisance, they will be dealt with robustly, because there’s no place for anti-social behaviour in Leyland.”
Father-of-three Insp Evans, 43, is also disappointed at the amount of vandalism at Worden Park, and wants to encourage people to look after the facility instead of abusing it.
“I’m aware of the problems and I think it’s a travesty when people leave broken bottles and litter around.
“People should be proud of open spaces and cherish Worden Park, because a lot of families and children visit it.
“I feel very passionate about it because I’m a parent myself, and I want people to be able to enjoy the facilities.
“It’s selfish when people vandalise parks, and there’s no excuse for it, so I am keen to tackle this issue in Leyland.”
He added that house and vehicle burglaries are still a problem because people don’t keep things locked up.
“We will ensure offenders are prosecuted when burglaries occur,” he said.
“But our main aim now is to prevent them from happening in the first place, so we’re continuing to advise people to lock their doors and keep valuables out of sight.”
Following the restructure, the three inspectors will cover an area much wider than previously, and Insp Evans will oversee areas including Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall and Farington.
He admitted it will be a challenging time, but reassured the people of South Ribble that they’d get the best police service possible.
He said: “We will make it work. I’m going to get all of the neighbourhood policing teams together for a meeting and arrange for increased patrols and an increase police presence around the division on Friday and Saturday nights in particular, to deal with anti-social behaviour.
“It is a challenge under the restructure, but we will ensure there is the best possible coverage with the resources we have.”
“I do want to be here,” he added. “I’m pleased to have been given this role, and I’m very committed to the job.”