Gangs of troublesome teenagers are terrorising shoppers at a retail area by riding bikes in an anti-social manner.
Police have received numerous complaints about a recent rise in anti-social behaviour involving youths in the North Valley area of Colne, especially around McDonalds, Matalan, Lidl, KFC and Sainsbury’s.
Issues range from verbal abuse towards customers and staff, to throwing eggs and other missiles at cars and there have been reports of youths on bikes spotted clipping cars with their bikes and intimidating shoppers and motorists by riding towards them.
Now, police have joined forces with Colne Town Council to crackdown on the problem and have vowed to punish the individuals involved.
They are also warning that such behaviour could result in serious implications.
A spokesman for Colne and West Craven Police said: “Colne Neighbourhood Team have been busy the last few nights targeting anti-social behaviour around the North Valley area from Sainsbury’s to McDonalds. “Police and PCSO’s have engaged with numerous youths and will continue to do so, in an effort to ‘educate’ them about acceptable behaviour and the laws surrounding the responsibilities of cycles.
“We would like to remind anyone who has a bike and intends to ride it whilst it’s dark, that it must be fitted with working lights, white at the front and red to the rear. We will not tolerate youths who, after warning, continue to put their own lives at risk, as well as that of car drivers. They will be issued with court summons and/or fixed penalties and have their bikes removed.”
Police are also urging parents to take responsibility of their children and remain aware of their whereabouts, especially in the evenings.
“Both parents and children have a responsibility, to themselves, to each other and to the community, to behaviour correctly and within the law,” said police.
“If you don’t know where your child is or you cannot trust them to behave appropriately when out without supervision, then please, educate them!”
Meanwhile, Mr Jerry Stanford, chairman of the Colne Community Safety Partnership, said meetings are being held to tackle the problem of keeping bored youngsters off the streets and steering them away from gangs.
He said: “Anti-social behaviour in Colne is a long-running problem and we are liaising with police with the aim of achieving more facilities for youngsters to have a place to meet with the supervision of role models. We actively work with community beat managers to promote Byron Road Community Centre and other youth facilities in Colne, but we need volunteers and role models to come forward.”