Yobs skate on tombstones, take drugs and vandalise graves at Bolton Parish Church

Yobs skate on tombstones, take drugs and vandalise graves at Bolton Parish Church

Cllr John Walsh beside a vandalised gravestone at Bolton Parish Church

A close-up of a vandalised tombstone at Bolton Parish Church

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

YOBS are skateboarding on tombstones, taking drugs, and playing loud music during services at Bolton Parish Church.

Graffiti has been daubed on a gravestone and youths have even scraped large initials into the moss on Samuel Crompton’s tomb.

Church warden Cllr John Walsh said he feared people were being prevented from visiting the church due to feeling intimidated by the often large groups of young people.

He said: “We are not trying to exclude people but it can be boisterous. I think people can feel intimidated when there are 30 to 60 youngsters there.

“We welcome people into the church but skateboarding on tombstones is not appropriate — there is a skate park in the town.

“We have some important tombstones including Samuel Crompton’s. When people are seen skateboarding and cycling off tombstones it is not nice.

“I think people come to the churchyard because alcohol is banned from open spaces and they think the church is off the beaten track.

“It upsets me. This is somewhere that should be shared as a place for quiet enjoyment for all age groups by people who do it in the right way.”

Cllr Walsh said the problems have been caused by people in their late teens. He has gone into the church grounds to challenge their behaviour but was verbally abused.

He said he regularly collects alcohol bottles and has found evidence of drug use.

People have daubed graffiti in the churchyard and a bench has had to be removed after it was vandalised.

He said the church has been working with police and Bolton Council to improve the situation.

It is hoped plans for the future will include a new CCTV system and shrubs being removed to prevent the grounds from being as secluded.

Police continue to patrol the area and warn that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Sgt Kevin Lister, from Bolton Central Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team, is urging businesses in the town centre who are being subjected to anti-social behaviour to report it to the police.

He said: “We have spoken to various groups of people who gather within the town centre but it doesn’t seem to have had any effect.

“We have started a more pro-active phase now where we will contact the parents of people responsible and there have been arrests.

“The people involved are absolutely aware of what they are doing. There seems to be a disregard for other people where they are upsetting people who want to visit the church and go about their lives.

“There’s clearly young people coming into the town centre who aren’t engaging in anti-social behaviour and we want to make it safe for them.

“If parents are dropping children off in the town centre, are they aware their children are going into the church grounds and are they are aware drugs and alcohol are being taken?”

There have also been complaints about people gathering near the Fred Dibnah statue in Oxford Street.

Anyone affected by anti-social behaviour in Bolton town centre or who has information about the people responsible can call police on 0161 8565619.

Comments (15)

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7:52am Thu 7 Aug 14

Wolfie190 says...

I'm sure our police would turn out for this one if its happening while services are going on... well some time in the next two weeks.
I'm sure our police would turn out for this one if its happening while services are going on... well some time in the next two weeks. Wolfie190
  • Score: 11

8:04am Thu 7 Aug 14

JustBecause says...

Scum bags should start getting a good kicking, come on GMP pull your finger out.
Scum bags should start getting a good kicking, come on GMP pull your finger out. JustBecause
  • Score: 21

8:36am Thu 7 Aug 14

marco999 says...

The police must do something instead of relying on the evidence of CCTV and such. Back in the day you would have had a regular policemen on the beat, a visual reminder of authority and someone to go to when trouble occurred. The only time I see a policeman these days are those cardboard cut out ones you see in discount shops! These ‘yobs’ are everywhere; our own village church is plagued with young people who sit on the steps outside and regardless of whether there is a service in progress, laugh, scream, listen to music and eat pizza and other fast foods. They leave all their rubbish behind them just strewn about the gardens. You ask them to have some respect and move away and the reaction is one of disbelief that you had the audacity to approach them and suggest they stop having fun! People may accuse me of living in the past but lets think about the future for a second. What is the future going to be like if children continue to be allowed to behave any way they like with no fear of retribution?
The police must do something instead of relying on the evidence of CCTV and such. Back in the day you would have had a regular policemen on the beat, a visual reminder of authority and someone to go to when trouble occurred. The only time I see a policeman these days are those cardboard cut out ones you see in discount shops! These ‘yobs’ are everywhere; our own village church is plagued with young people who sit on the steps outside and regardless of whether there is a service in progress, laugh, scream, listen to music and eat pizza and other fast foods. They leave all their rubbish behind them just strewn about the gardens. You ask them to have some respect and move away and the reaction is one of disbelief that you had the audacity to approach them and suggest they stop having fun! People may accuse me of living in the past but lets think about the future for a second. What is the future going to be like if children continue to be allowed to behave any way they like with no fear of retribution? marco999
  • Score: 28

8:43am Thu 7 Aug 14

A Hybrid Lord says...

Agree totally with what's been said above!
Agree totally with what's been said above! A Hybrid Lord
  • Score: 18

8:56am Thu 7 Aug 14

nigella farrage says...

Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated
Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated nigella farrage
  • Score: -12

9:37am Thu 7 Aug 14

Wolfie190 says...

nigella farrage wrote:
Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated
It wouldnt be that costly to send a couple of coppers to have a word with them and see if they can make them see sense if they persist they will well erm nothing kids are untouchable.
[quote][p][bold]nigella farrage[/bold] wrote: Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated[/p][/quote]It wouldnt be that costly to send a couple of coppers to have a word with them and see if they can make them see sense if they persist they will well erm nothing kids are untouchable. Wolfie190
  • Score: 9

10:14am Thu 7 Aug 14

Phil from Smithills says...

nigella farrage wrote:
Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated
The Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd, has for the last two consecutive years increased the police element of the Council Tax.

Not seen any additional police in Bolton.

As he was a former Manchester Member of Parliament along with his assistant, the former deputy leader of Manchester City council, has any extra police gone to that city and are we all in the surrounding towns paying for it.
[quote][p][bold]nigella farrage[/bold] wrote: Well there is only one way to increase police presence, rather then relying on CCTV and that is to increase the Council Tax!!!! BUt I somehow don't think that would be appreciated[/p][/quote]The Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd, has for the last two consecutive years increased the police element of the Council Tax. Not seen any additional police in Bolton. As he was a former Manchester Member of Parliament along with his assistant, the former deputy leader of Manchester City council, has any extra police gone to that city and are we all in the surrounding towns paying for it. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 9

12:33pm Thu 7 Aug 14

manchester1 says...

If they weren't being antisocial in a church yard they be else where doing it....maybe outside your houses...my point is its not enough to have more police...
If they weren't being antisocial in a church yard they be else where doing it....maybe outside your houses...my point is its not enough to have more police... manchester1
  • Score: -5

12:38pm Thu 7 Aug 14

nigella farrage says...

Phil,

DO you have definite proof of what you have accused GMP of?
Phil, DO you have definite proof of what you have accused GMP of? nigella farrage
  • Score: -5

2:07pm Thu 7 Aug 14

boltonnut says...

Just wondering what would happen if this anti social behaviour was happening in a NON Christian place of worship.
Just wondering what would happen if this anti social behaviour was happening in a NON Christian place of worship. boltonnut
  • Score: 5

5:32pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Citizen Cane says...

boltonnut wrote:
Just wondering what would happen if this anti social behaviour was happening in a NON Christian place of worship.
well the cops were pretty busy protecting a mosque that hasn't been built yet, so it's no wonder that low life trash seeks out a nice quiet church to strut their stuff

...maybe if there was a proposal to build a Super Parish Church?...
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: Just wondering what would happen if this anti social behaviour was happening in a NON Christian place of worship.[/p][/quote]well the cops were pretty busy protecting a mosque that hasn't been built yet, so it's no wonder that low life trash seeks out a nice quiet church to strut their stuff ...maybe if there was a proposal to build a Super Parish Church?... Citizen Cane
  • Score: 5

10:10pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Phil from Smithills says...

nigella farrage wrote:
Phil,

DO you have definite proof of what you have accused GMP of?
Haven't accused anyone of anything I simply asked the question ,
What are you accusing me of ?
[quote][p][bold]nigella farrage[/bold] wrote: Phil, DO you have definite proof of what you have accused GMP of?[/p][/quote]Haven't accused anyone of anything I simply asked the question , What are you accusing me of ? Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 3

10:24pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Lucky Matt says...

Well even a councillor can't get the police to do anything so us mere mortals are facing the wind and getting wet! after 3 years of abuse and harassment in a once nice area we have left Bolton for good. The Anti Social department is a pointless waste of money and oxygen, and followed closely by the PCSO's or Police or whoever won't help when you need it.
Adios Bolton, a shame but you are a crap hole now :-)
Well even a councillor can't get the police to do anything so us mere mortals are facing the wind and getting wet! after 3 years of abuse and harassment in a once nice area we have left Bolton for good. The Anti Social department is a pointless waste of money and oxygen, and followed closely by the PCSO's or Police or whoever won't help when you need it. Adios Bolton, a shame but you are a crap hole now :-) Lucky Matt
  • Score: 3

9:20am Fri 8 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

Well Surprise They Skate Through Morrisons I Kint Think Why They Should, When There Is A Perfectly Good Skateboard Ground For Them 50 Yards Away.
Well Surprise They Skate Through Morrisons I Kint Think Why They Should, When There Is A Perfectly Good Skateboard Ground For Them 50 Yards Away. Gore Seer
  • Score: -1

10:34am Fri 8 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

Gore Seer wrote:
Well Surprise They Skate Through Morrisons I Kint Think Why They Should, When There Is A Perfectly Good Skateboard Ground For Them 50 Yards Away.
Cant
[quote][p][bold]Gore Seer[/bold] wrote: Well Surprise They Skate Through Morrisons I Kint Think Why They Should, When There Is A Perfectly Good Skateboard Ground For Them 50 Yards Away.[/p][/quote]Cant Gore Seer
  • Score: 0

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