A Westhoughton councillor has praised the neighbourhood policing team after making arrests in connection to a spate of car damage.

Cllr David Wilkinson says the area's policing team is now a "very active and proactive" team.

Cars were damaged in a car park behind Aldi in Westhoughton, with police called on Sunday, April 30.

Extensive enquiries by the neighbourhood in the Bolton West area led to the arrests of five juveniles and one adult on suspicion of damage to a motor vehicle and theft from a motor vehicle.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “The Bolton West Neighbourhood Team have been investigating the recent reports of vehicle crime in Westhoughton where a number of vehicles were damaged.

“The team were supported by the Bolton North Neighbourhood Team and the Neighbourhood Priority Crime Team and four juveniles were arrested on suspicion of damage to motor vehicles and theft from motor vehicles.

“The youths have all been released on bail pending further enquiries and consultation with the CPS.”

Around 20 cars have been estimated to have been damaged in the area over the last few weeks.

But as yet it is not confirmed if these cases are linked. 

Following the spate of damage in Westhoughton, at least one car had to be written off while police patrols were stepped up in the area to try and deter suspected vandals.

Speaking about the issue of criminal damage in the area, Cllr Wilkinson said: “A lot of incidents we have are criminal incidents and in this particular group of instances when I raised various issues with the police at the time, they said there were nine vehicles reported to them which have been damaged, there was talk of 20.

“I asked them what the situation was, and they said they only had nine reported to them but if you are one of the nine people it’s not good, and some of the damage was quite significant running into hundreds and hundreds of pounds, I just don’t know what reasons young people have for doing it.

“Hopefully reasons will transpire in the court case and hopefully the consequences are severe enough to make them learn their lesson and also be a deterrent to others.

“Since the beginning of March when policing was altered, there has been some good results.

“I know that is not much comfort to people who are at the receiving end of vandalism, but we had a spate of burglaries on Park Road and arrests were made.

“So, in some respects the information and comments given to Inspector Hibbert at the PACT meeting which we had in March have been upheld.

“In a sense that is some good news that the neighbourhood policing team have got stuck in to make arrests.

“It is not much comfort if you are on the receiving end, I’m well aware of that, but that is good that there is now a very active and proactive neighbourhood policing team.

“In the future, the town council is looking at altering the CCTV, expanding the system using our own town council resources.

“We will be looking at how we upgrade the system, what we can do with the technology by expanding it.”

Anyone with any information regarding the incidents can call police on 101 or 999 in the event of an emergency.

Alternatively, witnesses can also call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.