by Tom Martin (June 2021)

GANGS of youths have been terrorising residents in Aughton with reports of them drug taking, damaging cars and intimidating shoppers.

Groups of up to 50 teenagers aged between 14-16 have been “causing havoc” in the village with Aughton Parish Council demanding that police take action to stop the problem.

The youths have been gathering near to the The Co-operative store on Bold Lane, which has been forced to shut early on several evenings due to  youths causing trouble, and the nearby Town Green train station and Winifred Lane playing fields.

Residents say the yobs have been jumping on top of their cars, throwing stones at their windows, taking drugs and drinking alcohol as well as causing criminal damage to a sports pavilion and bowling green on Winifred Lane.

Some locals believe the youths are arriving in the area by train from Maghull and Ormskirk before gathering with others from Aughton.

Parish Councillors say the police should do more to crackdown on the anti-social behaviour.

A spokesperson for the Parish Council said: “On behalf of residents, we must insist that proper policing takes place in Aughton and that this senseless behaviour is eradicated.

“Our residents who pay substantial sums in council tax to the Police Authority must have value for money and be free to go about their business without fear of injury and damage to property.

“We urgently require a more coordinated and joined up response with Merseyrail and British Transport Police to prevent the arrival of youths from outside the area who are intent on causing criminal damage to property and ASB.

“We have a police point at Town Green station and see no reason why this cannot be used to prevent trouble coming into Aughton.

“Due to Covid social distancing restrictions in place, we are restricted in allowing a large meeting

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to take place on June 14 at Aughton Village Hall – residents will be restricted to six.

“We are urgently looking into whether Aughton Village Hall can accommodate more attendees from a Covid compliance point of view.

“Details will be published with our agenda next week.

“We hope that restrictions will be lifted later this month to allow a fuller attendance in July. Please send written comments and questions to our clerk through the APC website.”

The Parish Council is also unwilling to spend any further money on improving park and sports facilities if the vandalism continues.

A spokesman for added: “The Parish Council is reluctant to spend hard earned council taxpayer’s money on further infrastructure improvements until this mindless criminal damage and ASB is terminated.

“The Parish Council and residents are anxious, therefore, to maintain these valuable facilities and to see adequate policing for the whole of Aughton.”

MP Rosie Cooper, who has asked the police to step up patrols in the area, has described the situation as an “onslaught of anti-social behaviour.”

She added: “Residents have a right to feel safe in their community and I have spoken to the local area police chief inspector for a full update.

“He assures me that there are increased police patrols and that there will be interventions including with the families of those identified as offenders.”

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