POLICE in Bury are looking to step up patrols in the town centre following reports of a spate of attacks on teenagers.

Chief Inspector Phil Spurgeon, of GMP's Bury district, has urged people to stick to well-lit areas after dark and keep expensive items hidden.

He said: “Town centres should be a safe space for everyone in our community, including our young people; and while we have not seen a sudden increase in incidents - even one attack is one attack too many.

“I’d always encourage people to take care in towns and cities at night, when it’s darker and there are usually fewer people around – Bury is no different.

"It’s better if you stick to well-lit areas, and avoid having expensive items on show – that’s not to blame victims who have had property taken, but it’s about reducing opportunities for theft.

"We will endeavour to increase our policing activity across Bury town centre– so if members of the public see a higher police presence and have any issues or concerns, I would urge them to approach officers and ask any questions they may have.”

The warning comes after a mother spoke out earlier this month after her 14-year-old son was "grabbed by the throat and punched" by a group of teenagers after leaving McDonald's on The Rock.

Lewis Richardson, who has autism, was left with severe bruising to his face after he and a friend were set upon by the group.

And in January, a pair of 13-year-old boys were robbed on The Rock after being assaulted and threatened with being stabbed.

No knife was seen, but an 18-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were arrested and later bailed in connection to the incident.

A number of parents have also taken to social media in recent months to share warnings about attacks in the town centre.

However, Chief Inspector Spurgeon said police had "not seen a sudden increase in incidents" and that there was no indication that any of them were linked.

He added: “Having reviewed recent incidents, I appreciate that there may be concern in the local community and I want to reassure members of the public that we take these kind of reports extremely seriously and they will be thoroughly investigated.

"Incidents of this nature will not be tolerated within our community and we will do everything in our power to bring those who commit such crimes to justice.

“We understand that we have a key role to play in tackling this type of crime and we will continue to work closely with key agencies, organisations and communities in order to keep the people of Bury safe."