ASBO girl group blamed for crime increase in village

'Eyesore': Calls are being made to regenerate Clayton Brook which has been targeted by vandals
'Eyesore': Calls are being made to regenerate Clayton Brook which has been targeted by vandals
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A group of teenage girls is being blamed for a wave of anti-social behaviour that has rocked a village.

The four tearaways – aged between 13 and 16 – have been running amok in Clayton Brook, and recently forced the suspension of a bus service for a couple of days.

Sgt Pauline Appleton said: “There has been a juvenile youth nuisance, but it’s not a gang.

“It’s teenage girls and they’re all friends.

“They’ve disrupted the bus service along Great Greens Lane by standing in the road, or by throwing things at the buses.

“It’s dangerous because they could get knocked down.

“There’s a zero tolerance approach from police officers. It’s not acceptable.”

PCSO Ian Smith, whose Clayton-le-Woods North patch includes Clayton Brook, said the culprits were four girls and one boy.

He said there had also been problems with vandalism at Clayton Brook Community Centre.

Campaigners are now calling for action to regenerate the area, with one of their priorities being the reopening of the Clayton Brook pub, in Great Greens Lane.

The venue was closed by police after armed gangs stormed the building in August 2009.

Coun Alan Cullens, who represents the area, said: “For too long, people have been coming up with wish lists and action points, but now is the time to actually act.

“In the last five years or so the village has deteriorated to the point that it can resemble a war zone.

“The row of shops in the centre remains shuttered throughout the day, with only the chippy, Spar and chemist open.

“The big issue is the pub too, which is in a very sorry state. It is right in the centre of the village and it would be great to see it redeveloped for a community use instead of a public house.

“The major issue, however is obviously going to be financing the project.”

The moves comes just weeks after bus operator Stagecoach refused to allow its vehicles to travel to the centre after they were targeted by youths. Colin Nicholson, marketing manager for Stagecoach, said suspending the 125 service between Bolton and Preston was a “last resort” but it had now been restored.

Coun Cullens added: “The meetings show the strength of feeling and we have already planted more than 1,000 daffodils and introduced new planters around the community house.

“They were targeted by youths and the flowers ripped out within 24 hours, but we have put them back in and will persist.

“We’re also going to look at CCTV coverage for the church, which has had its windows smashed, and floodlighting for the neighbouring pitch where groups tend to gather.”