A NEIGHBOURHOOD watch chief has described the blight of vehicle related crimes in their area as being the “outstanding local issue.”

Breightmet Blackshaw Neighbourhood Watch has been working to ensure local roads are as safe as possible, following a recent wave of crashes and nuisance speeders.

Chris Abalain, the group co-ordinator, said: “Over the last six months or so, car crime, opportunistic theft like people trying car handles at night, and drink driving has been going up. It is a huge danger for residents and it is something that we are working to tackle.

“People are just driving around the area however they want and causing trouble with cars - it is our outstanding local issue. House burglaries have generally been low recently but we have a number of people trying car handles.”

The group tackles the area to the south of Breightmet and Chris pointed to one recent collision involving a drug driver as an example of a serious incident in the area.

Earlier this month, police reported that a drink driver crashed into two vehicles in Garstang Avenue, smashing the front of one car in the process.

And Chris said that the group was working with local councillors and police to tackle the issue.

He added: “We do try and help where we can. We have spoken to local councillors and the police too. We normally have a good connection with the police but they changed the neighbourhood teams recently so we are just waiting for the new team to get in touch with us.

"We try and help police where we can by providing CCTV - we know that they already have so much to do so we try and make it quicker and easier for them to do their jobs."

Cllr Adele Warren, a member of the group who has worked with the watch on a number of issues, said: "There was quite a bad accident in Torridon Road recently where a car went up into a property. A number of residents wanted traffic calming measures so I went to the Highways Department about introducing measures around the area.

"The roads are prioritised though so if someone is injured or killed, the data is passed from the police to the council and the roads are ranked on a risk basis. Of course when there are a number of incidents and people are concerned, very fairly the rank system doesn't mean much to them, so it is difficult.

"The neighbourhood watch are doing a great job at making people aware of issues and they create a real sense of community. I hope more are formed in the future."