POLICE have stepped up patrols in The Haulgh following a targeted car bomb attack.

Extra officers were out on streets around the area yesterday in a bid to reassure residents and gather intelligence about the incident, which happened in Back Castle Street on Tuesday evening.

A black BMW was parked on the back alley when its window was smashed and an explosive device thrown inside at about 9pm.

Police say there is no suggestion the incident was terrorism related, but it is being treated as a targeted attack.

It is thought that it may be linked to a shooting on Lever Street on July 12, in which a man was left seriously injured.

The Bolton News joined PCs Cath Kerr and Emma Crowe as they patrolled the area around Castle Street yesterday morning.

The PCs were among several officers that were assigned to the area in the aftermath of the recent incident.

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, the pair chatted to residents as they walked around the streets, as well as carrying out regular vehicle patrols.

PC Kerr said: “When an incident like this takes place, we put more officers in the area to offer reassurance and gain more intelligence.

“It is just about engaging with the community to make them comfortable enough to share information with us.

“We have spoken to quite a lot of people and they seem pleased to see us.”

PC Crowe added: “The majority of people are happy that there are cops about and want to talk to you about their concerns.

“I think it is reassuring for them to have a visible police presence after something like that.”

Following the incident, a cordon was in place in Back Castle Street throughout Wednesday.

The fire-damaged BMW remained parked on the street as officers patrolled the scene.

The road has since reopened although additional officers will remain in the area until the threat is deemed to have reduced.

While all areas of Bolton have their own dedicated neighbourhood PCs, police took the opportunity to listen to some of the issues affecting people living in The Haulgh, including gang-related violence.

PC Kerr explained: “There is an organised crime group that operates in this area.

“At certain times, there are tensions between groups in Bolton, but it is no different to other towns in that respect.”

A resident living in Castle Street, who asked not to be named, said: “It is good to see an increased police presence in the area because it makes you feel safer.

“I have young children so it is reassuring to know the police are around.”

However, for Denise Bailey, who lives in Dorset Street, it was a case of “too little, too late”.

She said: “I have lived here for 30 odd years and it has gone downhill.

“It is concerning. My grandchildren were playing out on the street when the incident happened the other day.”

Anybody with information on the incident should call police on 0161 856 5599 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Anybody who calls either number should use the reference ‘Operation Progress’ when passing on information.