Queen Street epicentre of violent crime

Revellers staying out of trouble on Queen Street and (below) MP Gordon Marsden.

Revellers staying out of trouble on Queen Street and (below) MP Gordon Marsden.

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Queen Street has been named as Blackpool’s ‘street of shame’, accounting for almost two in every five assaults in the town centre.

According to police figures, the short stretch of road behind Talbot Square sees 38 per cent of punch-ups, knifings, gang brawls and general violence in an region of the resort designated as a trouble zone by police.

MP Gordon Marsden

MP Gordon Marsden

The area is formally known as the Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) and is made up of 14 key streets including Queen Street, Queen Square, Promenade, and Dickson Road.

A report drawn up by Chief Supt Stuart Noble states: “Queen Street is by far the most violent street in Blackpool. It is a hotspot in relation to violence and demands placed not only on the police but on other service providers such as the ambulance service.”

Queen Street saw almost 250 attacks in 2012 while parts of the Promenade and Bank Hey Street and West Street also fared badly, though on a much smaller scale.

But elsewhere the picture was much more positive with violent crime in Springfield Road, Dickson Road, The Strand and Corporation Street significantly down over the three year period from 2010 to 2012.

However, overall crime in the designated CIZ area has risen 32 per cent since 2010, and much of it is being blamed on booze. Commenting on his report, Supt Noble said: “Blackpool has always had a history associated with alcohol consumption and in no way is this report a detriment on those many thousands of residents and visitors alike who enjoy the night time economy in a sensible and responsible manner.

“However, experience has also shown that people do drink to excess and do acts which are out of character, some of which result in criminal acts being committed.”

Streets on police’s town map of ‘trouble spots’

The 14 streets covered by the police’s Cumulative Impact Zone are:

Queen Street

Queen Square

Springfield Road

Promenade 1 and 2

Bank Hey Street

Market Street

Dickson Road

Talbot Road

West Street

Corporation Street

Abingdon Street

New Bonny Street

The Strand

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Resort ‘one of worst’ for violent incidents

Blackpool is one of the worst towns in England for violent crime, figures reveal.

Out of 343 local authority areas, the town is in the bottom 30 of the UK Peace Index (UKPI) for England, meaning it has a high measure of violent crime, homicide, public disorder and weapons crime.

In an assessment where one is the most peaceful town and four has the worst violent crime, the resort has a score of 3.433. It ranks 315th on the index.

Blackpool Supt Stuart Noble said violence was linked to poverty and economic opportunity as well as the night time economy.

He said: “Tackling and reducing violent crime is one of the force’s top priorities, and we are working closely with key community partners like the local authority and the NHS to try to reduce the number of incidents.”

Fylde ranked in the top half of the UKPI at 147th with a score of 2.039, and Wyre was past the half way point at 175th, scoring 2.152.

Separate Government figures show Blackpool has the second highest record in the country for anti-social behaviour.

Police recorded 12,762 anti-social behaviour incidents last year – an average of 89.8 incidents per 1,000 people, compared to 62.3 incidents per 1,000 in Lancashire.

South MP Gordon Marsden is urging the government not to scrap the anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) in favour of a “community trigger” where a response comes after three complaints about yobbish behaviour, and is calling for faster action to help tackle bad behaviour in Blackpool.

He said: “Anti-social behaviour is a serious problem. People have the right to expect action right away and help to tackle an issue which is a huge worry.”

Supt Noble added: “The police and other partner agencies are putting significant resources into tackling the issue.”

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