A COMMUNITY collaboration between business owners, the police, and Leigh's MP has cut town centre anti-social behaviour in half compared to last year.

In recent years, tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused by anti-social behaviour in the town centre, which has often resulted in businesses being unable to open.

One of the main issues involved in the anti-social behaviour, business owners have said, is young people trespassing on rooftops and causing damage or attempting burgalries, as well as posing potential risks to themselves and others.

To tackle the blighting problem, members of Leigh Means Business teamed up with local police officers and Leigh's MP James Grundy to take a "proactive approach" to deterring the criminality and improving the town's environment.

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Leigh Journal: The resurfaced alleyway by Admiral Casino on BradshawgateThe resurfaced alleyway by Admiral Casino on Bradshawgate (Image: Leigh Means Business)

Forming an action plan to tackle both the behaviour and its root causes, the group launched a targeted education campaign to raise awareness of the issue of anti-social behaviour in the community and among local businesses.

This encouraged more businesses and residents to report anti-social behaviour, while police officers have added more emphasis on neighbourhood policing and town centre patrolling in recent months.

Additionally, the campaign has also seen thousands of pounds being invested by local businesses to deter town centre crime, such as the installation of CCTV cameras, increased street lighting, anti-climbing paint, and the resurfacing and cleaning up of streets and alleyways.

Leigh Journal: Local organisations came together to tackle problems on Bradshawgate and other town centre areasLocal organisations came together to tackle problems on Bradshawgate and other town centre areas (Image: Leigh Journal)

Figures from GMP show that there has been a 15% reduction in crime in the town centre since the initiative started, and 50% fewer recorded instances of antisocial behaviour compared to the previous year.

The neighbourhood policing approach has seen 19,000 extra police hours spent patrolling the town centre, while a particular area of concern, McDonald's on Bradshawgate, has seen a 90% reduction in callouts to the police.

Steven Tomlinson, director at Leigh Means Business said: "The initiative has created a sense of community spirit among local businesses, promoting a shared sense of purpose and a more supportive environment.

"This sense of community has positive implications beyond the scope of the initiative, fostering a more cohesive and safer local community."