THE use of ‘hippy crack’ speeding and the lack of visible policing were among the complaints raised by residents who attended a PACT – police and communities together – meeting in Great Lever.

The meeting was held at Great Lever Park Lodge and led by Inspector Helen Atherton and Sgt Dan Richards of GMP Bolton South neighbourhood team.

The meeting was held to listen to concerns that the community had.

Concerns voiced including the fall in number of PCSOs on patrol as well as speeding, drug use and young people using nitrous oxide gas.

Inspector Atherton who joined the South Bolton team in December, spoke about how the Bolton force lost many officers to other forces in the Lancashire area and 65 per cent of their front-line staff have less than three years in service.

She did stress that although these statistics seem concerning, there are more officers enrolling into the police, and they are retaining a lot more officers now compared to previous years.

The officers said that increasing the public’s confidence in the police was a main focus and to build closer relationships with the community.

Inspector Atherton said: “We’re looking to work with our communities but also our other partners like local councillors, youth services etc where we will always try and work with them to try and give a well-rounded approach.

“We have a lot of good work with schools and local community groups to ensure that we can deal with the problems that there are.”

This meeting was the first of many that will be held in the Bolton South district with others being arranged in Farnworth, Rumworth and the town centre in the near future.