‘Yobs are ruining our town’

Carol Woolley with the bird bath which was damaged by vandals in Poulton.

Carol Woolley with the bird bath which was damaged by vandals in Poulton.

Alcohol and a lack of police on the streets are being blamed for spates of vandalism in Poulton and the destruction of a treasured memorial.

A bird bath donated to Poulton in Bloom in memory of a resident’s late wife was left in three pieces after it was trashed by yobs.

But the group’s chairwoman, Carol Woolley, said the incident is just the latest in a long line of problems the town has had to put up with over the last year.

Mrs Woolley added: “Last time it was the Cenotaph and now it’s an expensive bird bath.

“It has been a constant battle over the last 12 months dealing with vandalism to the flower beds, barrels and traders troughs in Poulton town centre.

“ It is usually on a Friday or Saturday evening that most of the damage is done.”

In September, there was outrage when a flower bed planted in memory of Poulton war hero Fusilier Sam Flint-Broughton was flattened by yobs.

Mrs Woolley said her group do their best to repair the damage and choose places at lower risk of vandalism but feels they are fighting a “losing battle”.

She said: “With police numbers down, no operative police station in the evening and only partial CCTV coverage, we feel it is a losing battle dealing with the alcohol-fuelled yobs that visit our town in the late evening.”

She said the group was at a loss to find a way to keep a handful of yobs ruining life for other residents.

She added: “The 24-hour drinking laws have made it difficult for local licensing authorities to keep a tight hold over closing hours.

“The licensing law is to blame – it just doesn’t work.

“The law has got to change, even if it is the last thing I do.

“The police cut-backs are plain to be seen with a lack of bobbies on the street.

“Troublemakers know they can disappear in the 30 minutes it takes before the police arrive.”

It is thought the bird bath, in Queen’s Square, was damaged over the weekend.

Police said they are looking into the offence and will examine CCTV footage from the area.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We have received a report of criminal damage and this is being looked into. We would like to reassure people that any crime that is reported will be thoroughly investigated.”

Call police on 101.

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