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Two hurt and cars damaged as youths throw concrete slabs at drivers on Churchill Way

Two people were hurt in Salford when a group of youths started throwing broken-up concrete slabs at cars on Churchill Way.

Shocked drivers reported being hit by missiles thrown from Clarendon Park, near the Lance Burn Medical Centre, at around 8.30pm on Tuesday evening.

Cars were dented and windscreens smashed when at least seven vehicles were hit and forced to stop, with glass and rocks strewn across the road.

It’s believed the incident has caused thousands of pounds in damage.

North West Ambulance sent paramedics to Churchill Way at 8.35pm that night.

Location of youths throwing slabs - Google Satellite

Location of youths throwing slabs – Google Satellite

One van driver was treated for an eye injury and his passenger suffered facial injuries, emergency crews confirmed.

Both men were patched up at the scene and declined hospital treatment.

But results could have easily been fatal.

And it took Greater Manchester Police over an hour to send out a patrol to the scene.

In March 2015 schoolchildren hurling rocks into oncoming traffic from a motorway bridge over the M602 almost caused disaster, smashing the windscreen of a lorry travelling at 50mph.

Read: Rock-throwing could have caused fatal M602 accident

Those affected have asked SalfordOnline.com not to publish their names for fear of reprisal.

One driver said: “I’d just finished work and I was driving down Churchill Way towards Aldi when I heard this massive bang.

“I turned to my wife and she said, ‘It’s okay, you’ve just hit some rocks in the road’.

“But when I pulled over and got out I saw this big dent on the passenger side of the car.

“We’re not talking half-bricks or stones, these were concrete slabs they’d deliberately broken up and they were aiming at windcreens, so they wanted to do some serious damage.”

The vandalism will cost this one driver alone over £800.

“There were other cars coming up behind us which were also hit,” he said.

“I phoned the police at 8.23pm, I phoned twice actually but it still took them an hour and a half to come out.

“My wife was really shaken up – if it had been a couple of inches higher it could have smashed the window and seriously hurt her.

“She’s been driving all her life, but she refuses to drive at night now.

“It was scary, I could have had my eight-year-old with me or anything, that would affect them for a long time.”

This kind of vandalism gives Salford a bad name, he said.

“One vehicle coming out of Citrus Way was also hit.

“There were two Asian lads in the van who had their windscreen smashed got out and said: ‘Oh, I knew I shouldn’t have come to Salford, I was told it’s a bad area’.

“Well no, that’s not right. This is a good area.”

The 46-year-old said: “I’ve brought up four kids in Salford and they’ve never been in trouble with the police.”

Salford City Council needs to step in and tidy up the area around Clarendon Park as a matter of urgency.

Read: ‘Mindless vandalism’ at Clarendon park sees 30ft floodlights smashed

Floodlights smashed on Clarendon Park in June cause £30,000 of damage

Floodlights smashed on Clarendon Park in June cause £30,000 of damage

On Clarendon Park residents are also reporting bins being stolen and set on fire, and people setting off fireworks where young children play.

It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

“It’s not well-lit round there, and the heavy trees and bushes need chopping down,” said the driver.

“You couldn’t see anything, how many of them there were or how old they were.

“To me they are low-life scum. They shouldn’t be doing this.

“I’ve lived in Salford all my life and we never did anything like that when we were kids. It’s shocking really.”

Councillor John Warmisham, who represents Langworthy and the local area, said he was disgusted to hear of the attacks on local drivers.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful.

“It’s horrendous and totally unacceptable.

“One question we must ask is: Do the parents know their children are going out and doing this?

“As ward councillors we’re doign a lot in the area and with all the regeneration going on – but some young people just aren’t getting involved.

“We have got three youth organisations working in the local area, Emmanuel Church, the Life Centre at Langworthy and SAYO/Sparky at Clarendon Rec centre.

“So it’s down to the parents to guide their children towards these things. There has to be some parental responsibility.

“We cannot have young people hellbent on destruction.

“One of the things I have asked for is a mobile CCTV van to patrol the area – we’re looking to bring that in shortly.

“And working with the local housing association: if young people are carrying this out then it could bring their parents’ tenancy into question.

“We have to put some pressure on the parents.

“If their children are persistent perpertrators of bad behaviour then there is an eviction clause.”

And to the police, who took an hour and a half to get to the scene?

“One of my biggest concerns is the way the cuts to Greater Manchester Police are hurting policing in Salford.

“Officers obviously have to prioitise 999 calls and it is being proven time and again that government cuts are having a massive effect.”

With Bonfire Night coming up Trading Standards are ramping up their coverage, going out and stamping down on illegal sale of fireworks.

“We have had reports of a white van going around the local area and selling dodgy fireworks to underage people,” said John.

“The last thing we want is for this to escalate.”

Read: If you set off illegal industrial fireworks you’ll maim and burn, says pyrotechnics expert

Category 4 fireworks sold illegally - "The best you can hope for is to lose your hands, you'll likely die", says fireworks boss

Category 4 fireworks sold illegally – “The best you can hope for is to lose your hands, you’ll likely die”, says fireworks boss

“We are down in the area constantly cleaning up, and vandalism is something we’re really trying to keep on top of.

“People must feel safe in the area they live in, no question.

“If anyone knows who these people are I’d ask them to get in touch with their local councillors if they want to be anonymous, or obviously call police.

“There’s an awful lot of work going on to improve the area and we can’t be dragged down by a small proportion of young people who are hellbent on destroying the place they live in.”

Anyone with any information should contact their local councillors (numbers/emails here), contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or call Greater Manchester Police on 101.

Main image: Churchill Way where concrete slabs thrown at drivers – Google Street View

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.