A crackdown on travelling football fans in Chorley has been called for.
Boozy supporters visiting the town centre on their way to matches are causing anti-social behaviour problems that could drive shoppers away, it has been claimed.
Chorley is a regular stopping off points for fans from other parts of the country who are on their way to see their teams play the likes of Bolton, Preston and Blackburn.
The large majority are well behaved, but it is claimed that a number are not.
The issue was discussed at the latest meeting of Chorley Town Centre Forum.
Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “This has been ongoing for a couple of years now.
“Away teams that are playing in surrounding towns, the supporters get dropped off in Chorley and go drinking.”
He said sometimes three different sets of away supporters were in town at the same time, chanting.
“It’s been getting out of hand,” he said.
“Sometimes the police say they don’t know where they’re turning up until they turn up.
“If they’re kept within the pubs . . . it’s when they spill out into the street and clash with some shoppers.
“We are being used as a dumping ground by the police in the towns where their matches are being played.
“It’s reaching a crisis point.”
He called on the police and the licensing authorities to work together to solve the situation.
“When shoppers are commenting on it, it’s time for action,” he said.
Sergeant Kevin Mountain, of Chorley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We get intelligence, not just through our departments, but through other forces and we know when we need to have a level of policing in place.
“But they don’t always stop off here.
“We have had the occasion where we’ve had the odd incident with travelling fans, but they tend to be minor.
“We always accept fans for a stop-off drink, as it promotes Chorley. But if they do step over the line we’ll deal with it.”