A RISE in loutish behaviour in St Helens town centre over the summer has prompted police to vow to take stronger action to tackle those who step out of line.

The Star contacted officers after mounting complaints from readers about disorder in day times.

Among the issues reported are men urinating in the street, fighting, spitting and abusive arguments in which people hurl swear words at each other.

While the incidents are committed by the minority, there are concerns that it will put off visitors and harm businesses.

One reader, who asked not be named, said she had seen a man urinating in Victoria Square and that her partner witnessed another man doing the same in Cotham Street.

There have also been reports of a mum being involved in an abusive argument with a man in a wheelchair and people being harassed for money.

One reader said: “This is not about running the town centre down. These are simply unacceptable standards of behaviour and it’s not fair on the good people of St Helens.

“It’s up to the authorities to take action for the sake of visitors and businesses.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Brennan said: “We have seen an increase in the number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in St Helens town centre when compared to the same period last year.

“In particular there was a noticeable rise in July, which resulted in concerns being raised by the community.

“We listen to concerns and remain committed to tackling anti-social behaviour.

“This type of crime can have a genuine impact on people living and working in the area and officers work closely with partners, including the council, in order for us to take positive steps.

“We want to make sure that St Helens town centre is a safe place to live, work and socialise.

“I would encourage anyone who sees or knows of any incidents of anti-social behaviour to speak with officers and appropriate action can then be taken.”