YOUNG vandals are continuing to cause mayhem in Prestwich and Whitefield.

Groups are still vandalising trams and derelict buildings, members of the Hillock and Oakgate Community Association meeting were told.

A PCSO told the meeting youths caused £2,700 worth of damage to the Metrolink network after throwing rocks at the trams and smashing at least four windows.

The PCSO, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s not just the cost and damage — it’s the delay because there are people going to work and it’s not fair. The disruption was horrendous.”

The incident happened on Sunday, August 27, at 7.30am at Besses o’ th’ Barn and was reported to police just before 8am. Besses ward councillor Mary Whitby said she was surprised to learn about the issues.

Afterwards she said: “I was surprised by that. I am a car driver so I don’t use the public transport very often, but I had a visit from my niece in August and we did use it. 

“We did catch the tram and I felt really safe and comfortable. I never felt unsafe.

“It’s sad really the way it makes other people feel and it just doesn’t seem very fair for people using the network.”

In July, the Guide told how fears were growing of a gang culture developing in Prestwich after spate of crime at tram stations. Police launched an investigation after youths were reported fighting with knives at Heaton Park Metro Station.

There is also an ongoing issue with the former Wheatfields Day Centre, which is being targeted by a group. The centre closed in 2014 after being ruled as outdated by Bury Council. 

The PCSO explained the building had been locked up and left. 

She said: “Kids have started going in. They have trashed it. We’re struggling because we know they are going in most nights, but they can see us coming immediately.”

She said some bungalows, which house a number of vulnerable people and are separated from the day centre by scrubland, were also being disturbed by youths banging on the windows late at night.

Residents at the meeting in the Unsworth South Social Club in Derwent Avenue, Whitefield, also heard about a number of reports of anti-social behaviour at the Spar shop in Ribble Drive. 

Residents were told trouble here had “calmed down a bit”. 

The PCSO added: “A couple of the parents brought their kids round to apologise and I think one of them is doing a bit of fence painting.” The children involved are believed to be no older than 10. 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM), which manages the Metrolink network, would not comment on the ongoing police incident. 

However, a spokeswoman highlighted the TravelSafe Partnership which has recently been set up to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on public transport across Greater Manchester. 

When KeolisAmey took over operating Metrolink in July it committed to introducing 900 hours a week of additional security made up of 24 new TravelSafe Officers.

According to TFGM, the TravelSafe Partnership will use crime and anti-social behaviour data to target patrols to the right areas at key times. 

Those at the meeting were encouraged to contact the police on 101 if they had any information concerning the incidents.