Residents in Kearsley and Stoneclough aired their concerns on several topics including burglaries, off road bikes and parking this week at a local police surgery.

Councillors in Kearsley alongside residents and police officers from Greater Manchester Police joined forces on March 21 at Prestolee Primary School to discuss issues in the area.

The new neighbourhood policing team who attended the police surgery included Sgt Jessica Prudence and PCSO Wayne Jackson.

Cllr Tracey Wilkinson said the main reason the meeting was held was to address the recent burglaries in Stoneclough.

She said: “The main reason why the meeting was called was due to a spate of burglaries on Monday February 26 in the evening down in Stoneclough.

“So, the meeting was called by Cllr Newall to get the police down here as people are worried and concerned when stuff like this happens.

“That was the main reason, but some other topics came up too.

“In relation to the burglaries, out of all the houses they tried that evening, around three or four they had properly tried or had got into the property, but nothing was taken.

“The police said at the meeting they believe they were after the cars, but they didn’t get away with any of the cars.

“People shared their concerns about whether the people involved would return but the police said they believe it is a one off thing, opportunists who came to the area that night.

“They said they don’t believe it was targeted.

“At the meeting they also gave advice about security including buying pouches for keys or even storing them in the microwave overnight.

“A lady at the meeting said she now blocks in her husbands car on the drive as a deterrent.

“Police said if people believe they have a vehicle that might be of interest to try and do everything they can to try and prevent people from taking them.”

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Cllr Wilkinson said the issue of off road bikers and parking on Stoneclough Road were also addressed.

She said: “Other issues were raised at the meeting too including off road bikers.

“Police said they only have a very small team now of five people who deal with off road bikers as they are specifically trained.

“And due to the team being small, areas across Bolton have to bid for the off road bikers team to come down to that area and they wouldn’t be able to come to our area because people are not reporting.

“Even though there is lots of activity with off road bikers particularly in Stoneclough they are not getting reports.

“So, police have encouraged residents to report on any sightings stating the date and time as the more reports the more the police can do as they will know specifically where to target.

“We also had residents raise their concerns about Stoneclough Road, there is an issue at the top of the road due to parking.

“There has always been issues there but when the road was closed for bridge works, people started parking near the traffic lights on the road and after the closure was finished they continued doing it.

“But what these parked cars are doing is causing traffic, it is reducing two lanes to one lane at the top so not as many cars are getting through the lights which is then backing up in rush hour.

“Any vehicle can park on that road because there isn’t any markings but us three ward councillors are now working on a traffic regulation order which is to put double yellow lines there.

"However this is a long process as it can take up to 18 months due to consultation and costs.

“The ball is in motion for this, but it will take some time and it might not be accepted but we are working on it.”

Cllr Wilkinson said the more residents report, the more that can be done.

She said: “The police’s advice is to report, and I would encourage residents to keep reporting anything that they believe is untoward or they see suspicious people or activity.

“The more data the police have, the more opportunity they have to act.”

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