THE most crime-ridden streets in East Lancashire have been revealed thanks to an investigation by the Lancashire Telegraph.

With 480 crimes reported in 2018, the street that was East Lancashire’s most crime-ridden was Blackburn’s Haslingden Road, the location of the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The road has been Blackburn’s crime hot spot since 2016 when 309 crimes were recorded, meaning 171 more crimes have taken place in 2018.

Furthermore, according to the Police Data website, the most reported offences in the area were assault and violence-related.

Blackburn’s Northgate – where a cannabis farm was found in a flat above Hugo’s restaurant at the end of March – was one of the worst town centre locations, with 141 crimes committed on the street in 2018.

Magistrate and executive member for neighbourhood on Blackburn with Darwen council, Councillor Shaukat Hussain, said the increasing figures didn’t surprise him.

He said: “There is no denying that police cuts have contributed massively to these rising crime rates.

“The council is trying to help solve the issue with our community safety team and our relationship with the police is more important now than ever before.

“Many people will know that we have increased the amount that will be given to police services in this year’s council tax bill and this will allow the force to get five more officers on the streets.

“It is acknowledged that tackling anti-social behaviour in crime hotspots will help bring these numbers down and this is something we are committed to.”

A Northgate shop owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said the area could be particularly bad at times, with drug taking in broad daylight and regular robberies.

He said: “You can find needles and people also hang around the telephone box, waiting for others to come along. You’re scared to say anything in case they do something.”

Elsewhere, 231 crimes were committed on Colne Road in Padiham, a dual carriageway littered with takeaways, betting shops and mini-markets. The most crimes committed in one place in Pendle in 2018 occurred on Market Street, Colne, similarly a mostly commercial street with a covered indoor market – offences recorded here were mostly thefts.

In Hyndburn, most crime-riddled street was Blackburn Road in Accrington with Queen Street in Great Harwood, and Eagle Street and Broadway in Accrington also high on the list.

Hyndburn councillor Tony Dobson attributed the rising numbers to the borough’s current issue with break-ins, commenting that one ‘hardcore’ criminal could be responsible for dozens of crimes on the list.

He said: “Residents have just been billed an increase in their council tax for policing. When we see more officers on the streets we will see a reduction in these numbers. At the same time, I feel as though residents would be willing to pay extra for more police and less crime.

“We know that single individuals are responsible for tens - if not hundreds - of these crimes. From my point of view we need to implement a ‘three strikes and you are out’ system and we need to get rid of this rehabilitation nonsense. Sterner punishment and real prison time is needed, residents are fed up with the lackadaisical way things are done.”

A police spokesman said: “While many of the rises would appear on the face of it to be alarming, they can in part be explained due to a ‘recording increase’ i.e. there is no increase in offending and people aren’t less safe there is simply more incidents being recorded as a crime due to rule changes.

“It is also evident that increases in crime we see in the county reflect those in other forces, which in many cases can be attributed to higher victim confidence in coming forward and reporting things to us.

“We now have fewer officers than we used to and more and different types of crime to investigate and this means that we have tough choices to make on where we prioritise our reduced resources. Whilst we will investigate all crimes, we need to more focussed and selective on the opportunities available to achieve outcomes from those investigations.

“We are committed to providing the best service we can to our communities and will continue to strive, along with our partners, to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable.”

The figures were obtained by the Lancashire Telegraph via a Freedom of Information request.

WORST CRIME HOTSPOTS BY BOROUGH:

BLACKBURN AND DARWEN

Haslingden Road, Blackburn – 480 crimes

Bolton Road, Blackburn – 277 crimes

Preston New Road, Blackburn – 265 crimes

Livesey Branch Road, Blackburn – 176 crimes

Darwen Street, Blackburn – 154 crimes

Railways Road, Blackburn – 153 crimes

Whalley New Road, Blackburn – 150 crimes

Northgate, Blackburn – 141 crimes

Blackburn Road, Darwen – 141 crimes

PENDLE

Market Street, Colne – 162 crimes

Corporation Street, Nelson – 138 crimes

Manchester Road, Colne 146 crimes

Leeds Road, Nelson – 131 crimes

Albert Road, Colne - 87 crimes

North Valley Road, Colne 83 crimes

Barkerhouse Road, Nelson 82 crimes

Windy Bank, Colne – 79 crimes

Burnley Road, Colne – 74 crims

Colne Road, Nelson - 60 crimes

RIBBLE VALLEY

Whalley Road, Clitheroe – 135 crimes

Mitton Road, Whalley – 80 crimes

Berry Lane, Longridge – 75 crimes

King Street, Whalley – 60 crimes

Wellgate, Clitheroe – 37 crimes

Moor Lane, Clitheroe – 32 crimes

Castle Street, Clitheroe – 32 crimes

Edisford Road, Clitheroe – 31 crimes

Ribchester Road, Salesbury 30 crimes

HYNDBURN

Blackburn Road, Accrington - 392 crimes

Whalley Road, Accrington/Clayton – 239 crimes

Hyndburn Road, Accrington – 225 crimes

Burnley Road, Accrington – 180 crimes

Queen Street, Great Harwood – 144 crimes

Eagle Street, Accrington – 133 crimes

Church Street, Accrington – 114 crimes

Union Road, Oswaldtwistle – 108 crimes

Broadway, Accrington 91 crimes

BURNLEY

Colne Road - 231 Crimes

Casterton Avenue - 201 crimes

Cog Lane - 181 crimes

St James’ Street - 166 crimes

Active Way - 158 crimes

Burnley Road, Padiham - 145 crimes

Manchester Road - 136 crimes

Accrington Road - 134 crimes

Hammerton Street - 128 crimes

ROSSENDALE

Wardle Street, Bacup - 135 crimes

St Mary’s Way, Rawtenstall - 116

Deardengate, Haslingden - 79 crimes

Farholme Lane, Bacup - 73 crimes

King Street, Waterfoot - 69 crimes

Newchurch Road, Bacup - 65 crimes

Market Street, Bacup - 64 crimes

The Close, Rising Bridge - 62 crimes

Hope Street, Haslingden - 61 crimes

Rochdale Road, Bacup - 60 crimes