POLICE are urging parents and children to take more care on Fleetwood’s roads after a nine-year-old boy suffered a broken collar bone when he was hit by a car.
Parents in Fleetwood are being asked to make sure their children are playing in suitable and safe places and they are respectful of other residents as reports of drivers almost hitting children playing in the streets went up dramatically last month.
Fleetwood’s Pharos ward has been earmarked as a potential blackspot with the area seeing a rise in the number of young families with small children living on its streets during the past year.
The youngster was hurt during a collision on Victoria Street last month, prompting the police to make this latest appeal to parents.
PCSO Mike Joyner, of the Pharos neighbourhood police team, said: “Quite a large number of children are actually playing in the narrow roads, rather than in the safer open spaces available to them.
“As it is a residential area, cars go up and down all the time and there is a danger of a serious accident taking place.
“We also have other complaints from residents about children causing damage to property while they are playing, which is largely accidental, and causing a nuisance to older residents.”
Officers from the neighbourhood policing team have been carrying out work to raise awareness of the importance of practising road safety, but have not been able to prevent road incidents taking place.
Pharos ward Coun Terry Rogers, from Fleetwood Town Council, says parents must take responsibility for their children if accidents are going to be prevented.
He told The Weekly News: “Parental control is very important here and I don’t care what anyone says, the parents have responsibility for letting their children play in the areas that are busy.
“There are a lot of traffic calming measures in Pharos ward, but it’s not built for ball games and large grass areas don’t exist.”
Coun Rogers says the recession has hit his ward particularly hard and the situation of children playing in dangerous areas has not been helped by the closure of youth services.
He added: “We have Tommy’s Gym, but as part of the cuts they are cutting back on the community centre on Milton Street which is not good news.
“I’m part of the North Fleetwood Group and I’m aware we are developing social hubs in Fleetwood and it’s something I will be looking for Pharos ward so we can come up with ideas for youngsters to do after school.
“There are amenities for them to use, and the more accessible facilities around Pharos ward need to be emphasised to the children.”
Coun David Shaw is also a Pharos ward councillor.
He said: “Problems with children playing in the streets are regularly reported in council meetings and PACT meetings from members of the public.
“I can only echo the police advice.
“We do have problems with children in certain areas, but the police are trying to educate them by doing this.”
Police are now issuing advice to children and their parents to ensure they avoid accidents as the dark nights draw nearer.
PCSO Joyner added: “We’d ask parents to ensure their children are wearing bright clothing, they are playing somewhere sensible and they are considerate to those living nearby, especially the elderly and disabled.”