CALLS have been made to step up the number of police officers in response to a ‘crime wave’ in Westhoughton.

Residents have echoed Westhoughton Liberal Democrats’ appeal to increase patrols.

Requests have been sent to MP for Bolton West and Atherton, Chris Green, to demand more resources.

Retired police sergeant Malc Rushton, from Westhoughton, said: “The police are overstretched and doing the best they can.

“But the recent spate in crime in Westhoughton is a serious issue.”

Mr Rushton said Middle Hulton and Westhoughton had their own full-time police stations when he covered the areas in the late 1990s.

Westhoughton Liberal Democrats said: “Westhoughton is battling a crime wave against the backdrop of police cuts which has reduced the team covering the town by almost half.

“Our town is growing and it is urgent we get our police officers back.”