The introduction of metal gates at alleyways in a Lancashire town has cut crime there by 33 per cent, it has been reported.

Since more than 45 metal gates were put up in the Suddell and St James areas of Darwen, there has been a marked reduction in crime, with police recording 222 offences in January 2011 in comparison to 331 in January 2010, the Lancashire Telegraph reports.

A joint initiative between Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the Neighbourhood Policing Team and Twin Valley Homes, the steel gates were installed in response to reports of criminals using the alleyways to escape after burgling and thieving.

Instances of underage drinking and fly tipping were also reported.

Sergeant Karen Sledge told the newspaper: "The gates have been a great success, particularly in helping to flush any crime from the alleyways onto the main streets where residents can report it to police."

Last month, metal gates were installed at three roads in Lache, Chester, following residents' concerns about the level of anti-social behaviour in the area.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800460658-ADNFCR