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Police in Ribble Valley crack down on ASB crime

Police in the Ribble Valley are warning people travelling into the area this weekend to be on their best behaviour following 150 young people descending onto Whalley Abbey last weekend, harassing the Reverend and his wife, and other visitors to the site including young children. Police officers were assaulted while trying to disperse the large group, and it was found following a check of the site that parts of the historic ruins had been subject to criminal damage.

A Section 34 Dispersal Order will be in place in Whalley this weekend from Friday 27 August at 18:00hrs until Sunday 29 August at 18:00hrs. This includes parts of the town centre following reports of anti-social behaviour in the town and criminal damage to premises when the bars kick out. This order is part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act allows police to disperse people from within the mapped area, who they believe are here to cause disorder and unrest in the area.

T/Chief Inspector for Pendle and the Ribble Valley, Martyn Holt said: “this sort of behaviour is not welcome and will not be tolerated in our community. Whalley Abbey is a beautiful place where many come to find respite, and others enjoy family picnics and learning about the ancient history of these ruins. Visitors and residents to this beauty spot do not deserve the harassment and abuse that they have been subjected to, and we will, and are currently dealing with some of those responsible. We are also aware of a number of vehicles dropping kids off to the area, and rest assured we have the number plates of those and are making enquiries.

“Some of our elderly and more vulnerable residents are reporting that they feel worried to leave their homes after sun-down, and I will not allow this behaviour to continue; people deserve to feel safe, and we will continue to work with partners to tackle the issues.

“We believe that people may be travelling in from other areas of the county, such as areas of Accrington and Darwen and so a policing presence on the train lines will be seen, as well as an increased policing presence over the weekend in Whalley, and we hope this provides reassurance to our community but also sends a strong message that we will deal with those causing issues robustly.”

We would ask that anyone who may have information about the above or those involved to please report it online to us by visiting quoting log 1502 of 22 August.

We know sometimes you might have information, but are worried about speaking to us. You can contact independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting