Reports of eggs being hurled at properties see police up anti-social behaviour patrols

POLICE stepped up patrols to tackle yobbish behaviour after reports of eggs being thrown at properties. Officers say they were busy dealing with complaints of anti-social behaviour across the town on Saturday evening, visiting areas such as Eccleston and the bus station in St Helens town centre. Residents had raised concerns of youths hurling eggs at properties in Eccleston earlier in the week, prompting police to target the area.

Last night a large group of youths were spoken to outside a pizza takeaway on Walmesley Road and their details were taken by police. A police statement read: “One youth [was] found with eggs [and] was taken home to parents. More follow up work to be done around this so the parents of all the youths are aware what’s been happening.”

Last week it was reported how councillors across the region had raised concerns about rising anti-social behaviour during lockdown. On Thursday morning, members of Merseyside’s Police and Crime Panel stressed to Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy that there had been a “considerable increase” in anti-social behaviour leaving some residents fearing for their safety. St Helens Council’s representative on the panel, Cllr Michelle Sweeney, said the borough had seen problems with “groups of youths” in the town centre and increased rates of anti-social behaviour over lockdown.

One case saw a “mini-rave” on the King George V playing fields in Haydock and Merseyside Police received 50 complaints a month about anti-social behaviour in the borough during lockdown. In a normal year, they would expect to receive around 30 complaints a month. Meanwhile, Cllr Jayne Aston, from Knowsley, said her borough had seen “wanton criminal damage” over the lockdown period.

She said: “I’m getting a lot of complaints from residents about young youths who have got a little bit bored and have just decided to destroy things in the area. “I think that does need to be addressed to alleviate concerns of people in my area.” As well as illegal raves, Cllr Aston pointed to cases of vandalism and criminal damage.

Ms Kennedy acknowledged that there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour, saying a lot of the rise had been connected to breaches of the lockdown restrictions. She told the panel: “My understanding is non-COVID-related anti-social behaviour has remained at what we have come to understand is a reasonably low level. “It is anti-social behaviour arising out of breaches of COVID regulations that do cause a lot of concern.”

The police and crime commissioner added: “Merseyside Police in their response to those breaches has been well received by the public.

“They continue to have to work to prevent events like illegal raves and other unauthorised events bringing people together in breach of the regulations because we still have concerns about this virus in our communities and we are not in a position yet where we can look to the regulations being withdrawn.”

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