CCTV call for ‘danger street’

Debbie Porter, outside Washington's Cafe in St Annes
Debbie Porter, outside Washington's Cafe in St Annes

A worried cafe owner has called on authorities to increase CCTV monitoring to deal with a ‘plague of crime and violence’ on a Fylde street.

Just a week on from the death of 47-year-old Barry Kirkham in Park Road, Washingtons Tea Lounge owner Debbie Porter has pleaded with authorities to deal with crime and violence.

She said: “The police are great, do not get me wrong, but they understand more needs to be done.

“At night time I feel it is one of the most dangerous streets in the town.

“Groups of lads meet to fight with other groups of lads.

“People are urinating up against doorways and on the flowers.

“The major issue is the lack of CCTV – there is no deterrent.

“My husband went out one night to tell some kids to stop damaging a sign for the shop and was beaten half to death.

“We’ve had our windows smashed and once, when I caught a taxi home from Blackpool, I had to wait 20 minutes to get out of it as there was a fight going on right outside the cab. Recently a few newly-planted trees were snapped in half. More needs to be done.”

Two cameras are mounted at either end of Park Road, with one pointing down Wood Street and another towards the railway bridge, but none monitor the street itself.

Following the call by Mrs Porter, Fylde Council revealed it is in discussions with a security company to help monitor cameras near the street.

A spokesman said: “We have been meeting with a security contractor with the plan for the company to monitor the cameras on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

“We hope to reach an agreement in the future so they can be controlled and monitored to survey the streets.”

Insp Keith Ogle, from Fylde police added: “We launched Operation Acuna to tackle crime in these areas – there are more shops and pubs in St Annes, more people and we do get more incidents.

“But crime is down right across the borough.”