Burnley town centre boozers 'intimidating' elderly shoppers

The behaviour of groups of open air drinkers in Burnley town centre is 'intimidating' elderly shoppers a senior councillor has warned.
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Liberal Democrat group leader Coun. Gordon Birtwistle raised the issue at the full meeting of Burnley Council in Wednesday.

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He told the authority’s lead Coun. Afrasiab Anwar: “We have an issue around Marks and Spencers where there is a large group of people who now sit there all day drinking cans of lager.

Burnley town centre boozers are intimidating elderly shoppers, says a senior councillorBurnley town centre boozers are intimidating elderly shoppers, says a senior councillor
Burnley town centre boozers are intimidating elderly shoppers, says a senior councillor
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“They are distressing a lot of our visitors coming into town, particularly the elderly going to Marks and Spencers.

“I have been asked by a lot of people why they have been able to get away with this?

“So my question went to the police: could they try to resolve this by explaining to these people that they shouldn’t be drinking alcohol in the streets and lounging all over the forms that are there for people to rest on in the summer months.

“Secondly, I then approached the market square security people and they said it wasn’t their issue either.

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“So the police say they don’t do it, the market square security people say they don’t do it.

“I am advised by the police that it is a council responsibility.

“So my question is what are we doing about enforcing the town centre protection order at this moment in time?

“It is important that we get this sorted out. It is a very busy area of town. A lot of elderly people do feel seriously intimidated.”

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Coun. Anwar replied: “The concerns that your are raising are concerns that the executive members and officers have also raised with the police.

“We have asked the police and colleagues to come to scrutiny committee and then it is something we can address.

“It is something that is on our radar.”

Coun. Anwar welcomed the news that the police’s Operation Centurion had put on extra evening patrols in Padiham to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Gawthorpe Conservative Coun. Karen Ingham echoed his sentiments saying: “I definitely welcome Operation Centurion and the extra police patrols in Padiham alone working around anti-social behaviour.”

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Hapton with Park Tory Coun. Jamie McGowan added: “I have seen the anti-social behaviour outside Tesco on a Friday evening. Operation Centurion’s four extra officers out on patrol at that time is brilliant news.”