Mindless yobs pulled up benches before dragging them down Market Street in Little Lever.

Councillors say that on  youths in the precinct were seen rocking one bench and pulling it out of the ground before dragging it down Market Street.

The area has been blighted by anti-social behaviour and action is being taken to  tackle it.

Cllr Liam Barnard said residents have spoken to him relating to youth anti-social behaviour and there has been an increase in police patrols in the area.

Cllr Barnard said: “The benches were pulled up on January 24 by youths who obviously thought it was a good idea, who then started dragging them along Market Street.

“The benches have now been removed from the precinct by the Highways Department at Bolton Council and they will be replaced as soon as possible.

“In response to recent anti-social behaviour, we have got more patrols, our neighbourhood team with the police are doing more patrols and dispersing youths.

The Bolton News: One of the benches still in placeOne of the benches still in place (Image: NQ)“We get a lot of anti-social behaviour on the Avenues Estate as well so I have made a request to the team to see if we can get some CCTV cameras put up and hopefully if we do and we can get that then we might be able to put it up in other parts of the village as well.

“This may not be able to go ahead as it depends on funds as we are having to liaise with other teams for that but we have requested.

“The benches are with the council at the minute, they were taken away by the Highways Department, but I have received an email stating they will be fixed back down as soon as possible.

“To the parents of the youths causing the damage I would say, please have a stern word with them.

“Personally, I have got no issues with youths hanging around that area, unfortunately at the minute there is not a lot for youths to do and as long as they are not causing problems then it is not an issue.

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“But if they are causing problems such as this then parents need to have a stern word with them and bring them up to speed because the thing with this, the community loses out.

“Although on this occasion they are getting repaired and replaced, what would happen if we lost them?

“Please make sure you know where your kids are and what they are doing, obviously parents can’t be with them 24/7 but have a bit of understanding that if they are caught harassing or causing damage in the village it will be dealt with by the police.

The Bolton News: Where the benches used to beWhere the benches used to be (Image: NQ)“To concerned residents, I would say if you do see anti-social behaviour make sure you report it to the police, the more reports we get to the police, the more chance we have of the police coming round and actually being able to solve issues and disperse youths and make arrests.

“If we don’t report it then the police don’t know about it.

“I think it is concerning, especially for elderly people as they don’t like seeing gangs of youths especially when it is darker.

“Hopefully we can get youth centres up and running and give the youths somewhere to go.

“At the minute I think residents are concerned about what is happening, so the more reports we get to the police, the more chance the police will do anything and will be able to tackle it.”

The Bolton News has previously reported on anti-social behaviour impacting in that area, with police saying it is key priority for them to stamp it out.

A shop manager has previously spoken about how he was targeted by youths, while there have previously been incidents in Little Lever Library.

In December a dispersal order was put in place for a time in Little Lever after reports of young people causing a 'nuisance'.

The Dispersal Order powers came under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and extra officers were deployed around the area both on foot and in patrol cars.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.