Trouble hotspot closed to crack down on crime

CRACKING DOWN: Coun Tom Hanson and Coun Paul Bridge for Bamber Bridge West at Cockshott Woods which is in the process of being closed
CRACKING DOWN: Coun Tom Hanson and Coun Paul Bridge for Bamber Bridge West at Cockshott Woods which is in the process of being closed
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A six-month trial is under way to crack down on anti-social behaviour at a South Ribble hotspot.

Cockshott Wood in Walton-le-Dale is afavourite hangout for youths in the area, who have caused a public nuisance and damaged nearby property over the years.

Now, South Ribble Borough Council is closing the entrance of the woods at Ambleside Close, in a bid to discourage teens from meeting there.

Coun Paul Foster, who represents Bamber Bridge West, welcomed the move.

He said: “Large gangs wearing black hoodies have congregated at the entrance to Cockshott Wood a lot in the past, and it’s very intimidating to residents, which is not acceptable.

“It’s a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, and the youths have caused damage to property in the past, so it’s been a police action priority for some time.

“We’ve also had complaints from residents.”

The entrance is now being closed as part of a six-month trial to help prevent people from going there.

Coun Foster added: “We’re hoping to see a reduction in the number of complaints we get from residents about the problems.

“The youths aren’t all bad, and I don’t want to tar them all with the same brush. They just need somewhere better to knock about. It’s not just a case of moving the problem on to somewhere else.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We have done lots of work with the council and residents in this area and fully support the footpath closure at Ambleside Close.

“Cockshott Wood continues to be a priority area for us and are patrolled regularly.

“We hope this trial will see a reduction in the gathering of youths and reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.”