Forgetful residents told: ‘Shut that door’

Local neighbourhood watch initiative around Newcastle Avenue inspect the area for issues.  Pictured are Eddie Fewings, coun Mark Smith, Peter Elliott from PACT and coun Ian Coleman.

Local neighbourhood watch initiative around Newcastle Avenue inspect the area for issues. Pictured are Eddie Fewings, coun Mark Smith, Peter Elliott from PACT and coun Ian Coleman.

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Residents are being urged to lock alleygates in order to prevent burglaries after complaints some people are leaving the gates open.

Failing to close them also inceases the risk of fly-tipping, a town centre councillor warned today.

Coun Ian Coleman raised the issue during a walk around his ward along with fellow Talbot councillor Mark Smith and other members of the community.

Coun Coleman said: “We are having a problem at the moment with people not closing alleygates, but what they are doing is letting the criminals in.

“Why invite them to the back of people’s homes which they can then have the opportunity to break into?

“The police do what they can, but people also have to do their bit to protect their own properties.

“I believe the alleygates do make a big difference in preventing crime, and if they are locked it also means people cannot just come along and fly tip in the back alleys.”

Over the last few years alleygates have been installed in many of Blackpool’s back alleys in order to restrict access to residents only and prevent potential burglaries.

Residents have their own keys and the gates have mainly be funded out of councillors’ ward budgets.

Coun Coleman added: “This is just one of the issues we come across during these regular walkabouts in the ward, and also which are raised at our PACT (police and community together) meetings.

“It gives chance for the public to know we are looking at every issue possible which ranges from dog fouling to rubbish being dumped, abandoned cars, blocked drains and overgrown weeds.”

Eddie Fewings, chairman of Belle Vue Neighbourhood Watch which is based on Newcastle Avenue where the latest walkaround took place, backed Coun Coleman’s calls for people to lock the alleygates.

He said: “The alleygates have made a difference, but the problem is in some areas they don’t shut them.

“Part of the walkabout was to urge people to please close the gates as they deter thieves.

“It is good to see our local councillors in the area and they do follow up on issues which are raised by members of the public during these events.”