Blackburn yobs go on damage spree at old hospital doctors’ homes

VANDAL PLAGUED One of the damaged homes in Infirmary Close

VANDALISED A house where bricks have been thrown through the front door

TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION The wreckage caused by the yobs in the former doctors’ homes

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

YOBS have gone on a wrecking spree in homes once occupied by doctors in Blackburn.

Groups of up to 15 teenagers have been gathering in Infirmary Close, opposite the old hospital, to break into the houses and flats owned by East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.

They smashed windows, ripped out fire places, smashed down doors, set mail alight, ripped up floorboards, pulled out wiring, threw mattresses downstairs and burnt furniture left in the properties. 

More than 10 homes have been targeted since doctors left three weeks ago.

Residents living close to the street said the problem had become so bad over the last few days they feared for their own properties.

Mum-of-two Diane Hawkins, 23, of Ivy Street, Blackburn, which backs on to Infirmary Close, said: “Whenever a house is left derelict around here the local kids pounce on it and break in.

“It makes me scared to leave my own house in case they get in here while I’m out.”

Fellow Ivy Street resident Tammy Carrington, 34, said: “The kids have caused a real problem over the last few days.

“I have had to call the fire brigade and the police several times after spotting smoke and flames near the old doctors homes.

“The kids have been throwing furniture out of the windows and then setting it on fire. Its disgraceful, the parents should be doing more to stop their kids acting up.”

The properties are due to be auctioned in Manchester next month by The Auction People.

PC Scott Boast, of South West Blackburn Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have received many complaints over the last three days and one resident even managed to catch the youths on film with their mobile phone.

However, the footage is not clear enough to make out faces.

“I now urge anyone who knows anything about the damage to contact police.

“In the meantime we have increase patrols.”

The cost of the damage has been described as ‘extensive’ by East Lancashire NHS Hospital Trust and is expected to run into the thousands.

Martin Morgan, director of estates and facilities, said: “The trust can confirm that we are aware of break-ins to a number of trust properties around the Infirmary Road area in Blackburn. The properties are empty and are currently up for sale.

“The properties have been secured and the police are investigating the incident.”

Ewood ward Coun Maureen Bateson said: “The fact young people have felt it necessary to cause so much damage to these properties is totally unacceptable.

“It is a shame the owner of the property didn’t learn from all the damage that was done to the old Infirmary building. If these properties had been secured properly this could have been prevented.”

Anyone with information about the damage should call police on 101.

Comments (12)

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11:53am Fri 31 Aug 12

useyourhead says...

any property left empty in some areas should be boarded immediately.
any property left empty in some areas should be boarded immediately. useyourhead
  • Score: 0

11:58am Fri 31 Aug 12

Stuart Farquar says...

They are playin 'Mummy's & Daddys" let them have there fun !
They are playin 'Mummy's & Daddys" let them have there fun ! Stuart Farquar
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Fri 31 Aug 12

darwenTower says...

Yobs, yobs, yobs, yobs, yobs. What's to be done? Everyone's lives being made miserable by yobs and apparently we have no resources to deal with them.

The number of traffic wardens is on the increase though. Hopefully they will plough the revenue collected from parking tickets back into policing.
Bwaahahhahaha.
Yobs, yobs, yobs, yobs, yobs. What's to be done? Everyone's lives being made miserable by yobs and apparently we have no resources to deal with them. The number of traffic wardens is on the increase though. Hopefully they will plough the revenue collected from parking tickets back into policing. Bwaahahhahaha. darwenTower
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 31 Aug 12

RupertsReason says...

“It is a shame the owner of the property didn’t learn from all the damage that was done to the old Infirmary building. If these properties had been secured properly this could have been prevented.”

These words of wisdom by Councillor Maureen Bateson are sure to help the situation.
If i'm right in reading what you have said there, the whole fault of this is down to the owners of the property not taking heed from other counts of mindless, needless and as yet, uncountered vandalism, and not the same group of feral, wily, abusive, disrespectful young vandals that saunter around the whole Infirmary area doing what they want, when they want?
No doubt Maureen, you'll spout the usual rhetoric of prevention being the better cure. Good point. However. If these gangs had been brought to justice for wrecking the Hospital in the first place, then maybe they wouldn't have touched these houses. Good policing is stopping the crime from happening as much as catching the criminals after the fact.
“It is a shame the owner of the property didn’t learn from all the damage that was done to the old Infirmary building. If these properties had been secured properly this could have been prevented.” These words of wisdom by Councillor Maureen Bateson are sure to help the situation. If i'm right in reading what you have said there, the whole fault of this is down to the owners of the property not taking heed from other counts of mindless, needless and as yet, uncountered vandalism, and not the same group of feral, wily, abusive, disrespectful young vandals that saunter around the whole Infirmary area doing what they want, when they want? No doubt Maureen, you'll spout the usual rhetoric of prevention being the better cure. Good point. However. If these gangs had been brought to justice for wrecking the Hospital in the first place, then maybe they wouldn't have touched these houses. Good policing is stopping the crime from happening as much as catching the criminals after the fact. RupertsReason
  • Score: 1

2:49pm Fri 31 Aug 12

kempy says...

so mr farquar
you would let your kids wreck empty homes then?? people like you would be the 1st to complain if happend to you.idiot
so mr farquar you would let your kids wreck empty homes then?? people like you would be the 1st to complain if happend to you.idiot kempy
  • Score: 1

4:29pm Fri 31 Aug 12

Stuart Farquar says...

kempy wrote:
so mr farquar you would let your kids wreck empty homes then?? people like you would be the 1st to complain if happend to you.idiot
Ever heard of sarcasm ? *rolls eyes*
[quote][p][bold]kempy[/bold] wrote: so mr farquar you would let your kids wreck empty homes then?? people like you would be the 1st to complain if happend to you.idiot[/p][/quote]Ever heard of sarcasm ? *rolls eyes* Stuart Farquar
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Fri 31 Aug 12

woolywords says...

Incidently, there is now a 500 gallon fuel tank of diesel on The Royals building site.. The question is, if I were to video any attempted thefts, just what quality of imaging do I need to use for the Police to accept?
Am sure that my 16.0Megapixel Night-vision camera won't be good enough.

Of course there is a security firm keeping watch but the last time the Police were called on a Sunday lunchtime, it took them nearly an hour to respond!
Incidently, there is now a 500 gallon fuel tank of diesel on The Royals building site.. The question is, if I were to video any attempted thefts, just what quality of imaging do I need to use for the Police to accept? Am sure that my 16.0Megapixel Night-vision camera won't be good enough. Of course there is a security firm keeping watch but the last time the Police were called on a Sunday lunchtime, it took them nearly an hour to respond! woolywords
  • Score: 0

7:00am Sat 1 Sep 12

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  • Score: 0

10:18am Sat 1 Sep 12

hoppyhol says...

“It is a shame the owner of the property didn’t learn from all the damage that was done to the old Infirmary building. If these properties had been secured properly this could have been prevented.”

Errr no, its a shame that people have to board up their properties to prevent this happening. Its a shame the local councillors and police don't do more about the feral youths freely causing the damage.

If it has been going on for days and a resident has had the time to film them then surely it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out that maybe a patrol car could pass the properties on a regular basis throughout the evening to catch them in the act.
“It is a shame the owner of the property didn’t learn from all the damage that was done to the old Infirmary building. If these properties had been secured properly this could have been prevented.” Errr no, its a shame that people have to board up their properties to prevent this happening. Its a shame the local councillors and police don't do more about the feral youths freely causing the damage. If it has been going on for days and a resident has had the time to film them then surely it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out that maybe a patrol car could pass the properties on a regular basis throughout the evening to catch them in the act. hoppyhol
  • Score: 0

11:09am Sat 1 Sep 12

anon 7 says...

only people the police can catch is the easy prey which is motorists as usual because they cant catch any 1 else or are they playing cards up at the services at darwen
only people the police can catch is the easy prey which is motorists as usual because they cant catch any 1 else or are they playing cards up at the services at darwen anon 7
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Sat 1 Sep 12

george gently says...

does this mean we board up our homes when we go out maureen ,to keep out the yobs that are roaming free in this area ,i was told when i moved round here it was a nice area ,ive got news for you its not, the only time we see the police is when they go into ivy centre for a cup of tea, we have these yobs most nights on the playground next to the centre where are the police you ring them and they don,t turn up and when they do theyve gone
does this mean we board up our homes when we go out maureen ,to keep out the yobs that are roaming free in this area ,i was told when i moved round here it was a nice area ,ive got news for you its not, the only time we see the police is when they go into ivy centre for a cup of tea, we have these yobs most nights on the playground next to the centre where are the police you ring them and they don,t turn up and when they do theyve gone george gently
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Mon 3 Sep 12

norah bhatty says...

Learn indeed.
When the houses were vacated, common sense dictated that they needed to be totally secured, or the services of a security employee deployed.

Which would/will now cost more? Just another added expense to the NHS Trust.

In the report, it says that groups of up to 15 have been seen hanging about - one call to the Police should have sorted it, IF the Police responded immediately which is not always the case.

Learn indeed
Learn indeed. When the houses were vacated, common sense dictated that they needed to be totally secured, or the services of a security employee deployed. Which would/will now cost more? Just another added expense to the NHS Trust. In the report, it says that groups of up to 15 have been seen hanging about - one call to the Police should have sorted it, IF the Police responded immediately which is not always the case. Learn indeed norah bhatty
  • Score: 0

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