ANSWERS are being sought from police after claims that Westhoughton’s law and order ‘is breaking down’.

Town councillors are hoping to meet with officers after a survey of 240 people was carried out.

And recent statistics revealed crime rose in Greater Manchester by more than 30 per cent in the last 12 months.

Cllr David Wilkinson said he sympathised with the police due to the cuts made in recent years.

He said: “I know that the police are substantially understaffed. It is a miracle sometimes when you see a police officer. For residents who have been burgled or broken into, it is very worrying. We have got to a stage where people feel that law and order is breaking down. I just think we can not carry on like this. It is affecting people who pay their taxes day in, day out.

“I am well aware that the police have massive cuts and are consumed by everything under the sun.”

Some known crimes that have happened in Westhoughton in recent months include a burglary at Sainsbury’s on August 24.

Thieves used crow bars and hammered their way through a glass pane in an automatic door to get into the Cricketers Way store before stealing cigarettes.

According to the survey carried out by the Westhoughton Liberal Democrats, 91 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about levels of crime in the town.

A police spokesman said neighbourhood staff would be in attendance at the next two town council meetings on November 13 and November 27.

Sgt Laraine Lister, of GMP Bolton, said: “I’d like to reassure residents in Westhoughton that we are doing all we can to be a visible and helpful presence in the area.

“We regularly attend local meetings and forums to allow people to raise their concerns with us face to face, and encourage those who can’t come to look at the different ways the police can be contacted.”