CALLS have been made for a greater police presence after incidents of vandalism and antisocial behaviour have risen in one town.

Aspatria town councillors said on Monday, April 19, that they were becoming increasingly concerned about the criminal behaviour and the apparent lack of policing.

Police confirmed his week that there has been a rise in antisocial behaviour, but said it was “not significant” and all matters were being dealt with.

However, councillors expressed serious concerns and suggested that a greater police presence in the town would reduce crime.

In recent times, elderly people have been frightened by youths running across their lawns and destroying a fence at Beacon Hill School.

Public toilets on the Brandraw car park have been vandalised. This is just after Allerdale council had improved them as part of an asset transfer to Aspatria.

The doors have now been barred and there is concern that they will not be opened when lockdown restrictions are removed.

Broken glass has been found on St Mungo’s Park and one councillor said she believed that drug dealers were operating there again.

Acting mayor Alan Maxwell said police had appeared “uninterested in the school fence until we asked Workington MP Mark Jenkinson to get on to them.

“The fence has been completely knocked to bits and people have had garden items and flowers destroyed.”

Cllr Alan Reay added: “We have had a two per cent rise in rates for the policing, but there is nothing to show for it.”

Sergeant Andy Miller, from Allerdale neighbourhood policing team, said: “I’d like to reassure the community that we are aware of the local issues in Aspatria and we are continuing to target these concerns.

“Whilst there has been a slight increase in reported anti-social incidents, in comparison to last year, this rise has not been significant.

“Our local proactive team has been tasked to increase patrols in the area and we have made a referral to the local focus hub with the intention of working with local partners to address the local issues of anti-social behaviour.

“In relation to recent reports of damage at Beacon Hill School, suspects have been identified and we are continuing to make further inquires.

“We would encourage the public to continue to report anti-social behaviour as this is the best way to direct resources to the right areas to combat these incidents.

“Anyone with any information regarding anti-social behaviour is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”