Shopkeepers and residents have spoken about youths 'running riot' in Little Lever after police implemented another dispersal order to deal with the issues of anti-social behaviour in the village.

Greater Manchester Police put the orders in place today and yesterday, March 22, after reports of youths causing “harassment, alarm and distress" to members of the public. 

The orders have been in effect across the Little Lever area, mostly around Market Street, the Tesco store and the Dove Bank estate

The Bolton News spoke to shopkeepers and residents about the behaviour of young people which has been plaguing the area with reports going back at least a year.

Sanjay Rajmi, who works at the Spar in Market Street, said: "We have kids being a nuisance and who keep coming into the store, and their language is rude. 

The Bolton News: Sanjay Rajmi, who works at SparSanjay Rajmi, who works at Spar (Image: Newsquest)

"You especially get a lot out there (on the courtyard), vaping and drinking, it makes you wonder where they get the vapes and alcohol from. 

"We have banned a lot of kids from coming in the store, so the ones that come in are okay. 

"Police come once in a while, but they can't do anything to the kids, all they can do is tell them off." 

He added: "They will run from here to there, and once the police are gone they know it and come back. 

"The parents' involvement is the most important thing. If their parents are around here then they will behave nicely." 

Another worker at the store added she thought it was only in the last "six to seven months" that things had got particularly bad, perpetrated by the same two to three groups of youths. 

The Bolton News: Arshed Akbar, owner of Precinct NewsArshed Akbar, owner of Precinct News (Image: Newsquest)

Arshed Akbar, who owns Precinct News, said he had issues with young people around the ages of "13 to 17". 

He said: "They play football and hit the ball against the shop. The football smashed the glass on my door. 

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"They also kicked the football in the shop and broke a sweet display. 

"They steal from the shop as well." 

Arshed added he had seen police around, but hadn't noticed a big difference in the youths' behaviour. 

The Bolton News: Smashed glass at Precinct NewsSmashed glass at Precinct News (Image: Newsquest)

He did note, however, that it had been quieter today. 

Not everyone believes there is an issue with anti-social behaviour in the village. 

Local resident Chrissy Craven said: "I haven't seen anything like that. I think it's quite a safe and normal place. 

"10 years back it wasn't down where I live, people were robbing houses. But I haven't seen that for ages and ages. 

"It's a quiet place to live." 

Another resident, who wished not to be named, said: "They have got nowhere else to go.

"You get a few that do cause trouble, but then quite a few, most of them are there to hang out. 

The Bolton News: Little Lever precinctLittle Lever precinct (Image: Newsquest)

"There is nothing much to do. It would be nice if we had somewhere they could go like a youth centre,  and have things to do. 

"Something like Bolton Lads and Girls Club. I feel a few would use it, especially if it were closer than Bolton." 

The dispersal order was put in place today and runs until 11pm.

The order gives police officers expanded powers, under the terms of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime And Policing Act 2014, to order people to leave the area.

Former Councillor Sean Hornby said he has over the last few weeks talking with business owners and locals about the youths, who he describes as ‘out of control’.

He said: “This has to stop and stop now.

“Whilst I appreciate what the police are trying to do police resources  are limited due to cutbacks.”

In a fresh statement, a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: "Do you know where your children are? Do you know who they are with and what they are doing?

"There have been significant increases in reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Little Lever in recent weeks, particularly around Tesco, Market Street and The Avenues.

"As a result, there is currently a dispersal order in place until 11pm.

"We are receiving increasing reports that youths are being abusive to members of the public and disrupting local businesses. There are also reports of the dangerous and nuisance use of e-scooters and off-road bikes.

"These are illegal to use on a public road without insurance and a licence and may be seized under the Road Traffic Act.

"Officers are actively patrolling the area the hotspot areas this evening and will be removing anyone engaging in ASB, and if necessary referring them to partner agencies for further preventative work.

"Please make sure you are aware of your children's whereabouts, and work with us to reduce the ASB reported by residents in Little Lever."