Police are stepping up their presence in an area which has reportedly had anti-social behaviour problems and drug dealing issues for a "very long time". 

The issues have been happening around Astley Bridge Cemetery, Cllr Hilary Fairclough says. 

Following the reports, officers have been cracking down on crime in the area, including speaking to residents to "gather intelligence" about drug dealing.

are increasing their presence and activity in the area in efforts to curb drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.  

Cllr Fairclough, who represents Astley Bridge, said: "I did contact the police last week on at least two occasions, one regarding continuing complaints about drug dealing in the area, particularly around the cemetery. 

The Bolton News: Eden Street, near Astley Bridge Cemetery, is one of the highlighted areasEden Street, near Astley Bridge Cemetery, is one of the highlighted areas (Image: Google Maps)

"I arranged to have the cemetery gates locked in the evenings, which I accept isn't going to completely stop this going on, but it will hopefully deter people. 

"I also asked the police to visit some of the residents who had contacted me, many felt that as this issue has been going on for a very long time that they were just being ignored by the police. 

"But I am pleased to say that the police really did take the issue seriously, and if residents can work with the police, providing information, they will respond." 

She added: "It is not an easy problem to solve because often it just moves it on, but at least if we can disrupt the drug use and dealing in the area, it gives residents some peace of mind. 

The Bolton News: Cllr Hilary Fairclough has raised the issueCllr Hilary Fairclough has raised the issue (Image: Bolton Council)

"In the last few months, Astley Bridge has a refreshed policing team and the local neighbourhood Sgt, PCs and PCSOs are really doing their best to address antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and speeding in the area. 

"They are seeming to make a difference, they respond and have really done as much as they can.

"I had been super critical over the months where we were without a real police officer, but they have stepped up to the plate."

In response to the problems, a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: "Officers have been speaking to residents in Astley Bridge following concerns from the community of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

The Bolton News: PolicePolice (Image: Newsquest)

"Officers have been knocking on doors around the Astley Bridge Cemetery area on Eden Street to gather intelligence about drug dealing in the area.

"We will use this intelligence to stop people and vehicles involved in drug supply. It will also assist officers obtain drugs warrants.

"If you would like to pass information regarding criminality in your area, you can contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/"