RESIDENTS in Darwen were left flabbergasted after a seven-foot section was cut out of a back alley fence.

Vandals have sawn through the metal railings at the back of Atlas Road – offering an inviting prospect of abandoned properties to bored teenagers.

The gap offers easy access to the rear of homes but community leaders say certain homes are dangerous.


Mark Westall said: “A couple of years ago we lobbied to get alley gates – we were one of the last places to get the gates.

“Now somebody has cut a seven-foot piece out of the back of South Street in Darwen.

“It’s just been left.

“It’s a mess and someone could get hurt.”

In July 2010, the authority approved plans to fit 10 new alley gates in the St Peter’s area after two years of calls to Blackburn with Darwen Council to include the Entwistle Street area in the borough-wide scheme.

The lockable gates in shared alleys or footpaths are designed to prevent flytipping, vandalism and littering.

That December, Blackburn with Darwen Council finally erected the gates at the rear of Bank Street, Victoria Street, Joseph Street, Nancy Street, Entwistle Street, Higher Church Street and Higher South Street.

The 45 alley gates have been credited with helping to slash crime by 33 per cent in the Sudell and St James areas.

Mr Westall has previously led a campaign by residents to buy their own CCTV camera to deter yobs from loitering or to catch criminals in the act.

Following a successful scheme in the area around Entwistle Street, Darwen, the St Peter’s Residents Association raised £1,000 to pay for the security system.

Cash-strapped councils and the police did not have the funds to pay – and, within days of installation on Entwistle Street, drunken yobs had all but disappeared from around St Peter’s Church.