BRICKS being thrown, people pushed into the canal, drug taking, vandalism and underage drinking; these are just some of the reasons why police patrols are being stepped up around the Hotties.

Reports to police in the past six months have been coming in from residents who use the spot to fish and relax, following claims they are being plagued by gangs of youths.

READ MORE > Man 'assaulted by group of youths' at park

One man, who wishes to remain anonymous for his safety, says the issue has been getting worse over the last six months.

The 43-year-old from Fingerpost said: "A gang of youths is here every night from around 4pm or 5pm right into the night and they are making people not want to come back with how bad they are being.

"A lot of people use the Hotties to relax, do a bit of fishing and I spend time there with my 70-year-old dad, I don't want to hear and see youths throwing bottles and bricks at other pensioners.

"They threaten to damage our property, talk bad to people and are becoming a real nuisance to those who use the site for normal use.

"We've reported this to the police, but it isn't making a difference. They keep coming back and underage drinking, drug use and violence is just normal.

"I know many people that don't come here anymore because of it, one pensioner even got pushed into the canal by them for a laugh.

"That's just not right. I just want people to be aware and for police to sort this out. They can't be allowed to keep acting like this."

Following the reports, increased patrols will be put in place, say the police.

Community Inspector Matt Drennan added: "As the nights get lighter and the days get warmer our focus on all forms of anti-social behaviour will increase, particularly anti-social behaviour taking place in and around the canal and parks in St Helens.

"Following reports of groups of people gathering and consuming alcohol and taking drugs, including a group of teenagers at the canal close to Chalon Way on Monday evening, there will be increased patrols at key times of the day.

"I want to reassure people that we will not tolerate those people who make it difficult for decent to enjoy the many scenic spots our area has to offer. We will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure people of all ages can visit them free from the fear of witnessing or becoming victims of anti-social behaviour."

He added: "We have already brought in dispersal zones in St Helens, under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, to help tackle anti-social behaviour and can do so again where issues arise.

"The zones give police officers and police community support traffic officers powers to direct people they suspect are causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance or anti-social behaviour to leave the area for up to 48 hours. If a person has been directed to leave the area and returns during the period of the dispersal notice, an offence will have been committed. Any breaches of this can lead to their arrest.

"We will continue to take action whenever the community tells us there are problems.

“I would appeal to anyone with information about anti-social behaviour in their areas to get in touch with us and I can assure them that we will take action. We will be concentrating on areas where people have told us they are suffering the effects of this behaviour."

  • St Helens Council's Youth Action Zone (YAZ) is a resource for young people, who can chat with YAZ Youth Workers and find out where local youth clubs are meeting. Visit or call 01744 675924. Anyone with information about anti social behaviour call police via 101, or dial 999 in the event of an emergency or if there is a crime in progress. Alternatively, call anonymously to Crimestoppers, 24 hours a day, on 0800 555111.