CONCERNS have been raised about ‘groups of youths’ causing trouble in Westhoughton.

Locals say they are ‘scared’ following reports of a knifepoint robbery and intimidating behaviour.

Councillor David Wilkinson said: “As far as I am concerned we have got a group of individuals from outside of Westhoughton who take it upon themselves to come here and terrorise people.”

Police say they are investigating reports of a robbery on Cricketers Way over the weekend.

Cllr Wilkinson continued: “I understand that it is very frightening for the people involved, and that’s how these individuals operate, they want people to be frightened.

“I have experienced assault myself in the past and I understand how scary it is. If anyone has CCTV, dashcam or doorbell camera footage then please inform the police about it. These people are thugs, the only way they can be stopped is if they are put before the courts. I would hope the police would do that.”

One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “My child was robbed at knifepoint in the Westhoughton area, as a family we are concerned about further incidents and are constantly nervous about safety.”

Another resident, who also asked to remain anonymous said: “The way they behave is so scary, whether they’re in shops or outside. You are frightened to say anything in case they are armed.

“Over the last few years the teens - not all of them - have got worse in Westhoughton and at night they hang around car parks. When I walk with my dogs about nine out of ten times I’m on edge.”

It comes after a 48-hour dispersal order was introduced in Horwich last month following video footage shared online showing a boy getting his “head kicked like a football” when groups of youths clashed.

Cllr Wilkinson added: “The police have got to be seen out and about in the town.”

A police spokesman said: “At around 12.15am on Monday 17 August 2020, police received a report of an earlier robbery in a car park off Cricketers Way, Bolton. This happened at around 10pm on Saturday 15 August 2020. Enquiries are ongoing.

“Anyone with information should contact police quoting 33 of 17/08/20.”