WITH reference to the letter (Saturday, October 12) headlined 'Area decline a disgrace'.

I also had to suffer over three years on a Great Lever council estate, together with my family, when I was unable to get a mortgage. My neighbour was a "faceless", private landlord, but his tenants were, unfortunately, devoid of any social skills and ignorant of reasonable behaviour.

We had to endure verbal abuse, theft, vandalism and physical attacks. Cameras on estates and the amount of local policing only serve to record crime. High concentration of targeting crime "with income", such as speed cameras etc for the police and parking fine revenue for the council, provide their distractions and divert their attentions.

I acknowledge many people are concerned and efforts are made, but I guess just two anti-social bans to teenagers over the last 12 months are just token gesture deterrents.

It is encouraging that the writer credits the headmaster at Hayward School for his own efforts. Hayward is all too often blamed as a source of many of the problems in the area.

This fuels concerns and stimulates bad press and feelings for the school, which was evident over the over-subscribed Harper Green issue.

To the person who wrote Saturday's letter, I can only offer my support through the Bolton Evening News. I admire the concern and determination you show for your family and the majority of decent people in Great Lever. I pray that your hopes to return to a level of respectability for the area are achieved. The area I now live in still has its problems, but, through my own experiences, I now appreciate my present comforts, which so many people take for granted.

We all, as families and neighbours of Bolton, should have the simple benefit of a respectable level of behaviour and decency within our streets.

D Scholfield

Bury Road

Breightmet, Bolton