BOLTON'S Chief Inspector has called on people to take "some personal responsibility and do the right thing" following following a spike in antisocial behaviour across the borough.

Chief Inspector Mike Russell moved to reassure residents that the issue of teenage louts running amok is being taking seriously ­— saying his team was "committed" to tackling such behaviour.

Neighbourhood police officers have been visiting the homes of young people who have been flouting lockdown rules following numerous reports of youths congregating and acting in anti-social manner across the borough in recent days.

Pictures from the weekend just gone have shown large groups of teenagers drinking and inhaling laughing gas at Lower Rivington Reservoir; anti-social behaviour of up to 50 young people in Bromley Cross; and litter, including empty nitrous oxide canisters, left strewn across Moses Gate Country Park.

Chief Inspector Mike Russell of Greater Manchester Police’s Bolton district, said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns of an increase in antisocial behaviour incidents in Bolton. This is in part due to an increase in reports from members of the public of potential breaches of covid-19 Government guidelines.

“Antisocial behaviour has a negative impact on the local community and it is an issue that our officers are committed to tackling. We are continuing to patrol hotspots areas regularly, giving visible reassurance to residents and deterring potential offenders, as well as working with the council’s anti-social behaviour and housing teams where appropriate.

“Where covid-19 restrictions are a factor, it is important that we strike a proportionate balance, using enforcement action as a last resort, when people are not listening and putting others at risk. It is important that we stress that the police’s role is to enforce the law, not the guidance, we are working to engage with people, explain the current circumstances and encourage people to do the right thing in complying with the government guidelines. By doing so we are encouraging people to take some personal responsibility and do the right thing. We are grateful for the majority of those doing their bit during this challenging time, a time that we will only get through by joining together.

“In an emergency call 999, in a non-emergency or to report an incident that has already happened ring 101 or to give us information call your local neighbourhood policing team.”

A spokesman for GMP Bolton North said: "Patrol officers from Bolton North Neighbourhood have been responding to recent reports of anti-social behaviour within our local community.

"We have been patrolling our hot spot areas following reports of youths gathering, drinking and playing loud music.

"Many of the children we come across are polite and maintaining social distancing regulations.

"However there are clearly a number of youths who don’t abide by the law or social distancing guidelines.

"We have already attended at a number of these youths' homes in order to warn them about the consequences of their actions and breaching COVID-19 legislation.

"We will continue to patrol Bromley Cross Eagley Sports Complex, Harwood, Crompton, Astley Bridge, Bradshaw, Breightmet and Little Lever.

Police are also continuing to tackle the off-road bikes and said they had come across a number of locations where household rubbish has been dumped and warned those caught flytipping face prosecution.

"We are actively looking to seize off road bikes involved in anti-social behaviour. Many of the seizures will then be followed by court appearances for driving and insurance offences," said officers, who urged residents to continue to report issues at or at Livechat at